Webster County, WV — Early Friday morning 11/3/23, pipeline fighter Jerome locked himself to a Mountain Valley Pipeline drill at the Elk River crossing in Webster County, WV. Jerome prevented construction for over 3 hours, at which time he was extracted by law enforcement and arrested. He was charged with 4 misdemeanors, and has been released from jail. A banner at the site of Jerome's blockade read "Doom to the pipeline!" "I am the father of 3 daughters and the grandfather—soon—of 5 grandsons," Jerome stated. "I am horrified by what climate change is already doing to all life here on Earth. And I'm even more horrified that we still envision and construct projects like MVP which will only worsen the warming and deepen the chaos.
Mountain Valley Pipeline
Peters Mountain, VA — On Monday afternoon 10/9/23, pipeline fighter Ben locked himself to a sleeping dragon in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, preventing tree cutting and clearing in the area. A banner at the site read "Appalachians Slap Back," in reference to a SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) filed by MVP in September. "This is a pipeline that cuts through every county in Virginia that I’ve ever called home," Ben explained. "I grew up here. I live here. In 2018, people started putting their bodies in the way of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They’ve been called a lot of things, including outside agitators and paid protesters.
Peters Mountain, VA -- On Saturday morning 10/7, pipeline fighter Mickey locked themself to a sleeping dragon blockade on the Virginia side of Peters Mountain, in the Jefferson National Forest. A banner at the site read, "Defend the Forest Everywhere!" Mickey prevented tree clearing on the mountain for the full day. Around 8 PM on Saturday, Mickey was extracted and arrested. They were charged with 3 misdemeanors and bail was set at $2,500. Mickey stated, "The same thing is happening everywhere right now. Greedy corporations and politicians dirty the water and air for profit, then tell the people it's for their own good, to create jobs so that the lowly worker might have the chance to make enough to eat.
Roanoke County, VA — Early Saturday morning, a pipeline fighter using the name "Bramble" locked herself to a buried lockbox at a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) worksite in Roanoke County. She prevented pipeline workers from clearing vegetation on the top of Poor Mountain for three days; on Monday, she was extracted from her blockade and arrested. As of Tuesday afternoon, she is still being held without bail. "I'm fighting for a world where we can all be free," Bramble stated. On day 2 of her blockade, she wrote, "Workers came by my spot today and took away my supplies, hoping that I would leave. In the end though, they can't take away the view I have from up here.
Summers County, WV — Six pipeline fighters took action and put their bodies on the line today at Mountain Valley Pipeline's construction site at the Greenbrier River crossing. They made it clear they will not stand down while the world faces the imminent threat of environmental catastrophe. Four were part of the self-proclaimed "Rocking Chair Rebellion," a contingent of elder protesters in rocking chairs blocking an MVP access road, with their legs locked into concrete barrels. Two more locked themselves to the drill that MVP will use to drill under the river. Nearby, a rally of over a dozen people gathered to show support for the protest.
Montgomery County, VA — Early Tuesday morning, two pipeline fighters locked themselves to equipment on a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite in eastern Montgomery County, VA. They were extracted and arrested by 11:30 AM, with bail set at $2,000 and $3,000. Nearby, a rally of over 20 people gathered to show support for the protest. They held banners with phrases including, "Young and Old Unite: No MVP," "Protect Our Home: No Dirty Pipelines," and "Don't Poison Our Water." In addition to the 2 folks arrested today, 1 person was cited for trespassing and released, and 2 people received traffic violations for stopping briefly in a public road to load and unload passengers.
Montgomery County, VA — Early Saturday morning, a pipeline fighter locked herself to construction equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline work site in eastern Montgomery County, VA. The site is where MVP is preparing to bore under Bradshaw Creek and Road. Banners at the site read, "Doom To The Pipeline" and, "Only You Can Prevent Pipelines." Nearby, a rally of nearly 30 people gathered to show their support for the protest. Folks held signs with slogans such as, "No MVP Destruction Zone," "Protect Our Water," and "Water You Doing?" After preventing MVP construction at the site for 7 hours, around 1:15 PM, the person locked to equipment was extracted (cut out of the lock box) and arrested.
Roanoke County, VA — Early morning on Friday, August 11, 2023, two pipeline fighters locked themselves to equipment on a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite on Poor Mountain in Roanoke County, VA, preventing downed trees from being cleared from the pipeline easement. Nearby, over a dozen people rallied to show their support for the protest, holding signs with messages such as "STOP THE MVP" and "DOOM TO THE PIPELINE." Both people who were locked to equipment were arrested in the afternoon, after stopping work on the site for nearly 8 hours. They were charged with misdemeanors and released the same day.
Elliston, Virginia - Barbies stopped work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline! On Monday, July 24, around 20 demonstrators, many wearing bright pink and holding banners that read, "No Patriarchy, No Pipelines" and "Even Barbies Hate Pipelines" walked onto a work site beside Cove Hollow Road and Highway 460 in Elliston, VA. The protest continued today. Lisa Finn, a member of Tuesday’s group, stated: “We are so glad to be helping support frontline folks resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline! Their fight is our fight! As a member of Third Act, we are focused on stopping new fossil fuel projects and it was so empowering to stop construction on the MVP.”
Late Monday afternoon, a three-judge panel of 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of construction while it considers arguments that Congress violated the separation of powers doctrine when it passed a law expediting completion of the controversial project. The brief order came from Chief Judge Roger Gregory and Judges Stephanie Thacker and James Wynn. The same three judges have set aside nearly a dozen permits issued to Mountain Valley over the past five years. The case involved a challenge, filed by The Wilderness Society, of a provision in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which suspended the federal debt ceiling to avoid a government default.
In asserting its power over that of the courts, Congress violated the separation of powers doctrine when it parachuted in to save the Mountain Valley Pipeline. That is what environmental groups contend in written arguments filed with a federal appeals court. Proving it, however, may be another matter. “It’s a very tricky legal question,” said Evan Zoldan, a professor at the University of Toledo’s law school who has read the legal briefs in a case that raises a fundamental question: Did Congress breach the U.S. Constitution when it passed a law that fast-tracks completion of the controversial pipeline?
The House of Representatives voted 314 - 117 last night to approve a debt deal that includes provisions expediting construction of a controversial fossil fuel pipeline — and attempting to block courts from hearing challenges to its legality. The language nestled into the agreement reached by the Biden administration and congressional Republicans last weekend came amid a flood of campaign cash from executives at NextEra Energy, one of the companies spearheading the pipeline, to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ind.-Ariz.) and two other Democratic senators whose votes could be needed to pass the agreement.
As progressives excoriated President Joe Biden's debt ceiling deal with Republican lawmakers over "polluter giveaways" including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, activists rallied outside Sen. Chuck Schumer's Brooklyn home on Tuesday evening with a message for the majority leader: "Stop the dirty pipeline deal, or we shut down your block." The protesters—led by Climate Defiance and backed by Food & Water Watch, Climate Defenders, Climate Families NYC, New York Communities for Change (NYCC), and others—chanted messages including "Schumer, stop the dirty deal" as they marched in the Park Slope neighborhood where he lives.
Appalachia won’t be thrown under the bus in a side deal to climate legislation. That’s why we’re going to the capital this week, for the “Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC“ rally, on September 8. Our message: we’re done with being a sacrifice zone. If you care about climate, you’ve got to care about us too. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s also the only way we can get better climate policies going forward. The wheelers and dealers who negotiated the Inflation Reduction Act need to work with those of us on the ground who lead this fight, rather than against us. The side deal proposed by Senator Joe Manchin includes the undermining of laws that protect us from the fossil fuel industry.
Washington, DC — More than 80 conservation groups sent a letter today urging congressional leadership to reject Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to fast-track the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline as part of any “permitting reform” deal struck between Manchin and Democratic leaders. “The Mountain Valley Pipeline is an ecological and climate disaster that threatens one of the largest remaining wild landscapes in the eastern United States,” the groups’ letter said. “This destructive pipeline was rejected by the federal courts in part because of the devastation it would cause to endangered species and sensitive ecosystems along its path.”