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Environment

Environmental Factors Concerning the proposed MVP:

  • Natural gas pipelines can leak methane
  • Methane gas contributes most to global warming
  • Destroys streams and riverbeds
  • Destruction of natural forests and habitats
  • Compacted farm land yields fewer crops.
  • Stream crossing construction causes water pollution.
  • Improper construction techniques cause sediment and erosion problems as well as invasive species growth.
  • Blasting causes the contamination or destruction of nearby wells and springs.
  • Forest fragmentation and animal habitat destruction caused by acres upon acres of forested land being clear cut.
  • There are destructive flood plain crossings and wetland devastation.
  • The pipeline companies say they will mitigate these issues, but we know better. We have witnessed their failures. (See image below)
CobbleStoneCreek2Web
Williams-Transco mitigated their pipeline when it was completely exposed in this creek in Pittsylvania County, VA. Their fix: lay a concrete mesh over the entire creek easement.

Issues with Natural Gas Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Like coal, it is found underground, it is burned to release its energy and it is the product of eons of accumulation; therefore, it is a limited resource and not renewable. The global warming differences between coal and natural gas are a matter of degree, not of substance. Fracking, the invasive and destructive practice of extracting hitherto uneconomical pockets of natural gas, expanded greatly after 2004, when the EPA declared that the practice posed no threat. However, this conclusion was disputed even by EPA’s experts.

Natural gas suffers from a series of insoluble problems. Once the gas is removed from the earth, it must be transported in trucks, compressed and delivered by pipelines where it is burned for heat and power. At each stage in this process, pollution is created. And compressor stations and electric power plants are two major pollution sources which are often overlooked.

A Union of Concerned Scientists study estimates that unburned natural gas escaping from production infrastructure is equivalent to emissions from about 170 coal-fired power plants.  A total of 7.7 million tons of methane are released annually by oil and gas production facilities: wells, processing, compressors, transmission and storage.  Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is 34 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat.

Explosions_Leaks_Spills

The recent gas leak in Porter Ranch, California is an example of the immense damage natural gas pipelines have to the environment.

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