On Friday, the appeals court judges rejected Mountain Valley Pipeline building permits that would have allowed construction on federal land. This is exciting news -- the judges’ ruling acknowledges that this pipeline would cause major damage to the surrounding ecosystem.

Pipeline infrastructure has historically caused prolific waterway contamination, widespread deforestation and deepening regressive ties to the fossil fuel energy. However, while this court ruling is surely a step in the right direction, it is not enough. Only a small portion of the expansive pipeline has been stopped.

Since the courts can openly acknowledge that pipeline construction causes negative environmental impacts (which they’ve confirmed exist through this court ruling), they should apply those same guidelines when considering the rest of the land, communities and bodies of water that are being impacted by this pipeline construction. Permits for construction on non-federal land still stand.

To make matters worse, Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC has claimed eminent domain over this project, giving the company the power to build on any private property that happens to fall along the construction path, even if the property owners object. People like Fern MacDougal should not have to constantly protest this pipeline’s construction to protect their rights to retaining private property and living in a healthy environment. We demand that the courts and Governor Northam do everything possible to permanently discontinue construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

REBECCA WOLF

FOOD & WATER WATCH

VIRGINIA ORGANIZER

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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