Alamance County Commissioners Oppose Expansion of Mountain Valley Pipeline

A resolution passed by the government of Alamance County, North Carolina to oppose the expansion of the Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline into the north-central portion of the state marks the first time a county has formally opposed an interstate gas pipeline in North Carolina. A detailed article on the story appears here.

The four Republicans and one Democrat who comprise the board submitted their declaration to federal regulators before the first deadline for public comments. Technically, the rural county has no regulatory authority over the pipeline, which is still in the early stages of development.

Potential Public Impact

The pipeline project—known as MVP Southgate—would extend the pipeline outside Virginia and into north-central North Carolina. The expansion would run through Alamance and Rockingham counties to deliver gas to business and residential customers of PSNC Energy.

Nearly half of the route would run parallel to North Carolina’s only other interstate natural-gas pipeline. The proposed route would cross the Dan River and skirt the Haw River—which the commission states would impact dozens of tributaries along the way.

Awaiting Support, Questioning Motives

While the MVP Southgate project hopes to begin operations in 2020, it has yet to draw support from any politicians or elected bodies in North Carolina. In their denouncement of the pipeline, Alamance County commissioners cited threats to streams, rivers, and groundwater supplies in the area—and questioned the public necessity of the project.

Public Opposition and the Potential for Abuse

The commission also cited significant public opposition to the project for their decision—including the many citizens who voiced concerns regarding the impact the project would have on land they intend to pass down to future generations.

The commission’s concerns include the potential for the for-profit pipeline to potentially impact the private property of local landowners through eminent domain. They feel such procedures should be reserved for more traditional public purposes.

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