Defending Buckingham against Dominion’s pipeline

Published 1:31 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

By Jeff Kamen

I spent 45 years as a reporter around the world, digging out the truth. I’ve lived in Buckingham for almost two years and I’m staying. I’m your neighbor. We shop in the same stores and treat each other with respect and kindness. Now, I feel compelled to defend my beloved Buckingham from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

After hearing warnings that Dominion’s ACP would threaten the public’s health and safety, The Herald called for a public hearing on the proposed pipeline. Instead, on Wednesday, when most folks were at work or in school, Dominion tried to play Buckingham residents for fools. Instead of an open hearing, Dominion offered a “Compressor Station Community Advisory Group,” as though the ACP was a done deal instead of being increasingly under attack. The so-called advisory group met in a little space in the Buckingham County Administration Complex and members of the public were told by Dominion they could only “attend and observe” but not speak.

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It was a public relations con game, designed to distract us from simple truths including: the ACP won’t provide permanent new jobs in Buckingham, building the pipeline would shatter the environment and the completed pipeline would place all of us at unnecessary risk.   

You may wonder why your elected officials aren’t blocking the ACP. For the answer, Google “Dominion power’s donations to politicians.” After all, who bites the hand that feeds them?   

Dominion bought a chunk of land near Union Hill for its humongous compressor station. It’s so close to a pair of Baptist churches that their pastor told me the compressor station and its predictable, toxic leaks will probably force the churches to close. Many of Pastor Paul Wilson’s parishioners are elderly and ill. Unlike Dominion, they don’t line the pockets of politicians.

Neighbors, you need to wake up and tell Dominion, “Hell no! You will not poison God’s air and land! You will not force us to live under threat from your monstrous, 42-inch natural gas pipeline. You will not be allowed to create conditions that can create a much bigger version of the El Paso pipeline disaster.” That horror incinerated 12 innocent people camping more than a thousand feet away when the 30-inch pipeline ruptured and exploded. The ACP would be almost 50-percent bigger than the El Paso pipeline with equivalent risks. 

If nothing else stops the ACP, I will be with those who lay down in front of Dominion’s bulldozers.

Jeff Kamen is a Buckingham landowner and resident. His email address is