Signs saying Just Say No to the Gas Pipeline signs are popping up in Berkeley Springs and around the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
The signs are an outgrowth of a campaign to defeat two pipeline projects. One is a Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline project that is proposed to go under the C&O Canal and the Potomac River just west of Hancock, Maryland.
That pipeline would deliver fracked gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.
A second proposed pipeline would run from the end of the Columbia Gas pipeline in northern Morgan County south to Berkeley Springs and then east to Berkeley and Jefferson Counties.
Citizens from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania protested the Columbia Gas project in Hancock earlier this month and last week confronted the Morgan County Commissioners for supporting the Mountaineer Gas pipeline in May 2016 before anything was known about it.
In recent years, a number of pipeline explosions have shaken communities across the country.
The owner of the pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, said the explosion occurred around 2 p.m. Monday, when contractors working for Colonial struck the pipe with a trackhoe.
In December 11, 2012, a Columbia Gas Transmission natural gas pipeline exploded near Sissonville, West Virginia destroyed several homes. The resulting fire melted an over 800 foot section of Interstate 77.
Federal inspectors found that the gas pipeline was corroded and hadn’t been inspected since 1988. They said that Columbia Gas Transmission officials should have realized the gas pipeline was at risk of failure, because gas company inspectors had found corrosion in two other lines in the same system.
In August of this year, the company was found guilty of violating federal safety laws in connection with the deadly explosion.
The proposed route of the Mountaineer Gas line through the eastern panhandle will cut close to schools and homes.
Farmers have complained of bullying by Mountaineer Gas agents seeking to secure rights of way with threats of using eminent domain.