The protest against Mountaineer Gas Company’s proposed natural gas pipeline is spreading across the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.
Berkeley County Council Member Elaine Mauck has sent a letter to the West Virginia Public Service Commission protesting the pipeline as a threat to Back Creek. The proposed pipeline would go under Back Creek.
“Back Creek is one of two clean streams in West Virginia,” Mauck wrote. “The Mountaineer Gas people have not contacted anyone from the Berkeley County Planning or Engineering. The company’s behavior toward the citizens is inexcusable — telling them that they will get a right of way by eminent domain with or without their permission.”
Mauck said that “the permanent and extensive damage that is projected from this unwanted gas line could be prevented if this line was not done.”
“Is Mountaineer Gas going to provide the millions it will take to clean up this mess when damaged?” she asked.
Mauck asked that the Public Service Commission not approve the proposed line.
Back Creek residents Sherry Evasic and Richard Kidwell have filed a protest with the Public Service Commission.
“County Council contacts have reported no business requests for natural gas. No need has been provided, then no $45 million 30 mile pipeline,” they wrote.
“There is no state infrastructure of full time inspectors, regulation enforcement officials or funding sources for fixers,” they wrote. “The destruction scenario has been repeated many times in West Virginia. So no new results are expected in this watershed from the transit of the pipeline.”
Aileen Curfman of Shepherdstown said that she opposed the pipeline because “West Virginia should be looking to clean energy sources, not to increased use of fossil fuels.”
“This project would provide a market for gas produced in Pennsylvania by fracking, which can result in pollution of groundwater used for drinking,” Curfman wrote. “The Eastern Panhandle has seen several large solar energy installations. This is a cleaner technology which does not increase our carbon footprint and does not endanger groundwater.”
And Alison McNabb of Lakewood said she opposed the pipeline because “the USA must develop alternate energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and gases that contribute to global warming.”
“We must protect and preserve our air and water,” she wrote.