5 Other Upsetting Pipelines
You’ve Never Heard Of

February 22, 2016

illustration of pipelines

A Few of Our Least Favorite Things:

Climate change is real and it’s happening right now… and while most of the entries on that list are a result of climate change, only one is actively contributing to it. Can you guess which?

Better Know Your Pipelines

Yes, pipelines are all kinds of bad. The good news is that they’ve been in the news a lot lately, so they’re not such a dirty secret anymore. Like a lot of you, we’ve been following the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies had won some important battles only to see the pipeline approved under the new administration in DC. The Standing Rock Sioux, of course, won’t be giving up.

But the Dakota Access is just one pipeline. There are others, and it’s possible that you may not have heard very much about them, but there still extremely important. Each of these pipelines obviously represents a real danger to the people who live along their path. But it’s useful to keep the bigger picture in mind as well: continuing to build and invest in outmoded and unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure represents a critical threat to our economy and the health of the planet.

  1. Sabal Trail Pipeline

    The route of the 515-mile Sabal Trail pipeline runs through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Florida residents in particular are growing more and more alarmed, as it’s slated to cross the Santa Fe, Suwannee, and Withlacoochee Rivers. The pipeline’s owner, NextraEnergy, has a history of accidents, leading many to wonder why Florida has been backing the project so forcefully. Perhaps because Governor Rick Scott invested $108,000 in one of the pipeline’s parent companies? Although permits have already been issued, protests are growing more intense against the $3.2 billion project—opponents are filing lawsuits, writing letters to Congress, camping out near construction sites, and doing all they can to stop the Sabal.

    Is this near you? If so, take action, here!

  2. Mountain Valley Pipeline

    The proposed route of this 300-mile, $3.5 billion Mountain Valley pipeline runs from West Virginia to southern Virginia, across registered rural historic districts, the Appalachian Trail, and even forests protected by the Forest Service’s Roadless Rule, a rule meant to keep designated wilderness areas pristine and free of human incursion. Such lands are protected from road building, mining, logging, and other forms of development. If a pipeline is allowed here, then America’s 58.5 million acres of wildlands are clearly at risk. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently announced a delay in the release of a final environmental impact statement (this may ring a bell from the Dakota Access Pipeline situation), giving many opponents hope that the extra time to make their case will ensure that the pipeline never gets approved.

    Is this near you? If so, take action, here!

  3. Nexus Pipeline

    The 255-mile Nexus pipeline, if approved, would run from Ohio to Michigan, where it would connect with an existing pipeline to Ontario. As planned, the Nexus would drill under rivers and aquifers, endangering the water supply of many residents along the route. FERC recommended approval of the proposed pipeline in December, but just last week, one of the commissioners retired, leaving the three-member commission unable to officially approve it. Citizens mobilizing against the pipeline see this unexpected wrinkle, which could delay the process for months, as a chance to regroup and increase the pressure on local, state, and federal officials to kill the $2 billion project.

    Is this near you? If so, take action, here!

  4. Pilgrim Pipeline

    Ah, the 170-mile, $1 billion Pilgrim Pipeline. The plan is to run it from upstate New York to New Jersey, a route that threatens wildlife habitats AND critical water resources, water that 4.5 million people in both states depend on. Also, it cuts through a portion of the Ramapo Valley Reservation, which does not please the Lunaape people in the slightest. Groups organizing against the pipeline are putting together workshops and holding meetings to help the public figure out what they can do to make their voices heard. Remarkably, two companies brought in by the owner of the pipeline to help have actually publicly disavowed the project, which leaves many predicting that the Pilgrim will never be built.

    Is this near you? If so, take action, here!

  5. Vermont Gas Pipeline

    Vermont’s 41-mile Vermont Gas pipeline has been tied up in controversy pretty much since it was first proposed. In fact, Vermont Gas even admitted to mismanaging parts of the process. Not a shock, since cost estimates have risen from $86.6 million to $166 million so far, which has brought increased scrutiny from the state’s regulatory bodies and effectively killed a proposed second phase that would have sent natural gas beneath Lake Champlain to a paper mill in New York. Though the first phase is close to completion, concerned and very organized citizens have not given up and are continuing to fight the pipeline at local hearings, in the courts, and in the streets.

The key to all of these fights is to keep the pressure on. We’ve seen what can happen when people come together to do what’s right. So, wherever you are, raise your voice in favor of clean water, a healthy environment, a sustainable-energy economy, and winning the battle against climate change.