I was disappointed to read your article (“Pipelines draw support at energy conference in Roanoke, while opponents gather outside,” April 16) about the Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters who disrupted the recent Conference on Energy and Infrastructure here. While we all should be looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, I hope the good people of this commonwealth also realize that progress won’t happen overnight.
Besides, as your article made clear, companies like American Electric Power (AEP) are making huge progress without radical regulation or extreme policies like banning pipelines. Your article said AEP has reduced its carbon emissions by about half in the last 20 years and will continue to reduce emissions. Anyone who has owned a business would know this achievement is impressive and was hard fought. AEP isn’t alone either. Transitioning from coal to natural gas has reduced greenhouse gas emissions throughout the country and we should be celebrating that progress.
Protesters who are driven by ideology probably aren’t going to acknowledge this fact, but residents should, and should support broader efforts to embrace natural gas as an existing cleaner fuel source as we progress down the path of finding alternatives.