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Supervisors create ‘a sad legacy’

The Buckingham Board of Supervisors’ approval of a special use permit for the proposed compressor station will not provide what Dominion has promised in economic security or jobs, nor does it protect the people of this county from woeful health and safety concerns.

This is more than just a bad idea — it’s a crime to poison our land, water, air and community.

This compressor station is a guaranteed health, safety and economic risk. It’s a matter of when, not if, this compressor station vents, leaks and explodes.

When citizens commit murder, rape or larceny, they get punished accordingly. But, when rogue corporations like Dominion commit murder, rape and larceny, they get a permit to do so by the regulatory agencies they created and control.

These agencies are intended to be a smoke screen for we, the people, to pacify us into thinking that we are being protected by them. So, yes, this is premeditated legalized murder, rape and larceny on a grand scale.

An article from InsideClimate News, dated Sept. 11, 2013, is titled “Exclusive: Pipeline Safety Chief Says His Regulatory Process Is ‘Kind of Dying.’” And yet PHMSA, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, was created not long ago, in 2004, as an agency within the federal Department of Transportation.

Apparently 135 federal inspectors oversee 2.6 million miles of pipeline, which means each inspector is responsible for almost enough pipe to circle the earth.

Only one-fifth of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline have been inspected by PHMSA or its state partners since 2006.

An Oct. 25 article in “EcoWatch” cites three major U.S. pipeline spills within the last month are just a small part of the 220 significant incidents reported so far this year — and 3,032 since 2006.

Dominion repeatedly assures us of the safety of the proposed ACP and compressor station, but as we can see, these are worse than false promises.

We the people, the ratepayers, would pay for the cost of construction for a pipeline that is not needed, we would pay three times more to transport the gas (versus existing pipelines) and then we get stuck with the stranded costs of infrastructure that cannot pay for itself.

Furthermore, the injustices are piled high. According to the International Energy Agency, the fossil-fuel industry received $493 billion in subsidies in 2014, otherwise known as corporate welfare. This rogue industry is dependent on handouts from the taxpayer.

Exxon’s own research, in the 1970s, revealed that fossil fuel emissions do indeed affect our climate.

They proceeded to cover it up and now, finally, there are at least three attorneys general that are prosecuting them for crimes against humanity.

But the CEO of Exxon gets nominated to be Secretary of State. Dominion continues to block and suppress efforts to bring renewables on board, throwing us crumbs to make an appearance of interest.

Buckingham’s schools were recently awarded best in state for their green energy efforts.

And now their elders, the leaders of this county, want to bring in this industrial polluter that negates their children’s wishes for a clean sustainable future?

We asked the board of supervisors not to be complicit in this crime against our community and the land that we depend on. This is a decision they did not have to make now and a sad legacy they did not have to take on.

Heidi Dhivya Berthoud lives in Buckingham County. Her email address is heidi1008@gmail.com.