Above Photo: The fight to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is happening now and Robeson County is on the front lines.
For more information on how this facility and the pipeline will impact communities and the environment, listen to the Popular Resistance Podcast, Clearing the FOG, interview with Dr. Ryan Emanuel of the Lumbee tribe.
Brothers Robie and Dwayne Goins of Robeson County are members of the Lumbee Tribe and live in Prospect, NC, a majority Native American community. Dwayne lives adjacent to a site where Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC has announced plans to build a gas metering and regulation station and a 350 ft. microwave tower (to control the station remotely). Prospect, already burdened with two older pipelines and associated gas infrastructure, is now slated to become the 36 inch, 1400psi Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s official southern terminus.
Robie and Dwayne have filed suit in Robeson County challenging a conditional use permit issued to the company by the county a year ago. They’re not seeking a monetary reward, but only to ensure that existing zoning laws are followed and their rights as citizens are protected. They’re also attempting to uncover the nature and extent of communications between county commissioners and pipeline company representatives before the vote was taken.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, if built, will bring fracked gas from WV to NC. The pipeline’s many critics, however, cite studies showing that extra gas capacity is not needed in the region. They say that the project’s principal sponsors, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, are simply seeking the federally guaranteed 14% rate of return on large pipeline projects. Like these critics, the Goins believe that investor profits do not justify taking private land, risking health and safety, raising consumer energy rates, or damaging the climate.
This lawsuit is important because it represents a historic Lumbee community’s last line of defense against the siting of a metering station–an intrusive and dangerous piece of industrial infrastructure–in a residential area by an aggressive energy behemoth in violation of the law.
But the suit is also a vital link in a much longer chain of resistance stretching 600 miles across similarly affected communities in Virginia and North Carolina all the way back to fracking wells at the start of the route in West Virginia. The Goins’ case could slow or stop ACP construction in Robeson County, but more than that, it could establish durable legal precedent in North Carolina in similar cases to reclaim local control from abusive corporations aided and abetted by misaligned state and federal regulatory agencies.
Please support Robie and Dwayne with a contribution to help pay for their legal representation. Court proceedings are already in motion and donations are needed immediately. Your donation in any amount will make a difference to the outcome of this case. Please help spread the word! When we win, we win together.
NOTES: The Alliance To Protect Our People and Places We Live (APPPL) is conducting this campaign as a project of its Legal Education and Action Fund. More info at apppl.org .
APPPL’s fiscal sponsor is Community Roots (cmroots.com ). This means that Community Roots serves as the nonprofit 501(c)3 umbrella under which donations to APPPL may be considered tax exempt and through which APPPL contributions are channeled. Contributors will receive regular updates on the status of the case and, if desired, written year end documentation of gifts for tax purposes.
All monies contributed to this campaign minus GoFundMe service fees and fiscal sponsorship fees go in their entirety to pay Robie and Dwayne’s legal bills. Raleigh attorney Sean Cecil of Edelestein & Payne is representing the Goins family.
Are you local to the Robeson County area? Then check out EcoRobeson and join the resistance! Go to ecorobeson.wordpress.com for meeting dates and times.
To watch a free 20 minute video on the multi-racial, environmental justice work in Robeson County which seeded this legal action, go to www.robesonrises.com.
Thank you to the Southern Environmental Law Center for their permission to use video of Robie. Learn more about the ACP’s route and people at SELC’s excellent website, www.southernenvironment.org/inthepath.