In April 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested as part of the Birmingham Campaign, an effort to bring national attention to systemic racism in one of America’s most segregated cities. As he sat in a jail cell, King wrote his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which would become a bedrock document of the Civil Rights Movement. Speaking to leaders who, despite good intentions, failed to speak up against injustice, King famously wrote: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
In Virginia, we are now suffering from an “appalling silence” over the environmental racism at the heart of Dominion Energy’s controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. And time is short. The fate of the ACP, a 600-mile, $5.5-billion, fracked-gas pipeline, together with that of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, will be decided at public hearings of the State Water Control Board on December 6-12. The pipelines also are the target of a “Water is Life Rally and Concert” in Richmond on December 2.
The appalling silence over Dominion’s plans comes from many who Dr. King would consider to be “good people.” But the silence has become deafening, particularly with the environmental racism of the linchpin of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Dominion’s proposed compressor station in Union Hill in Buckingham County, Virginia.
There is no excuse for this silence. The story has been told for several years in protest, in song, on film and in print – here, here, here and here – among many other places. The short version is this: Dominion Energy paid $2.5 million to buy a 68-acre parcel from the white descendants of a large tobacco producing slave plantation known as Variety Shade. It bought the land to build a massive 55,000-horsepower compressor station to service the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for 200 miles in each direction. The compressor station would run 24/7, powered by burning gas from the pipeline, and would regularly spew carcinogenic and other harmful compounds while creating noise that has been described by a landowner who lives near a compressor station as equivalent to a “747 taking off.” The population within one mile of the proposed facility – an area commonly referred to in pipeline planning documents as the “incineration zone” in case of an accident – is 85% African American. Many of those residents, as well as unknown others buried in unmarked cemeteries, are descendants of the slaves who worked that plantation and freedmen who acquired some of the land after the Civil War. Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources is considering naming Union Hill as a state Historic District and Preservation Virginia has listed it as a “Most Endangered Historic Place.”
Blue Virginia – Jonathan Sokolow – 11.27.2017
Posted by: Nelson Bailey
After generations of people dreaming and creating a place of peace and purity, comes disregard from outside to rape. To violate. To desecrate. To profit bullying people who have led peaceful lives in their home for centuries in Buckingham County.
Many descended from surviving slavery in the 1800’s, Buckingham was once the poorest county in the USA. With Yogaville and others, since 1980 the property values and quality of life for all the county have risen steadily. This pipeline would ruin all the work of thousands of people and thousands of equivalent work-years.
With the backlog of needs in education and economic influence, the beautiful Virginia forests and homes in Buckingham are eyed by the ruthless and despicable aiming to disregard any sense of respect, dignity, or humane social responsibility.
The pipeline would be a return to detrimental social past.
NO. No. No.
After investing in creating a Shrine for Peace, LOTUS, hundreds of people and lifetimes of work will be devalued by the instant depreciation the pipelines create on Buckingham properties.
Recall the time sewage sludge from New York City around 1992 was proposed to be spread on the land in Buckingham, for a fee. It was to risk birth defects, and also see your neighbor in tears since her neighboring land had become worthless, and the wells were tainted with toxic substances. Saying no to that was a good idea.
Explosions are part of pipelines and more so, compressor stations risk malfunctions in trickier, more deadly ways. They make noise, they are a case of dynamite with an unlit fuse in waiting. The wildlife and the forest would be affected in many detrimental ways per science research done on pipelines on lands such as Buckingham County. It would not be abundant and healthy wildlife or plant life like it is now.
On behalf of the ..good people.. who gave our lives to create Yogaville, to be home safely and honestly in Virginia, my ancestral home as a 1639 Taylor family descendant, We the people of Buckingham demand a complete halt to this destruction of our lives’ work.
No pipeline, no compressor station in Buckingham.