The Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Certainly, if you live in the New River Valley, you’ve heard about this proposed pipeline by now. The issue is far too broad to cover in detail here, but a simple Google search will turn up more than you ever wanted to know. For a comprehensive website that speaks out against the project, Preserve The NRV is a good place to start. Not surprisingly, there’s not a lot out there in favor of it, except for a .info site from the project coalition.
The pipeline is a proposed 42″ pipe, running 300 miles from the source fields, through West Virginia, and into Virginia, via both Giles County, and Montgomery County. Proponents of the pipeline say that it’ll bring affordable natural gas to markets on the east coast. Opponents say it’ll ruin watersheds, views, and property values. As with anything, there are likely truths and deceptions on both sides, but the fact of the matter is that the pipeline is a huge hairy deal in this part of the world right now. Daily, news reports are coming out mainly in opposition of the project, although if you read the comments you’ll find plenty that are in support of it, as well.The sleepjunkie.org site also has some great info about the Valley.
The reality is that this has the potential of being a big deal to real estate in some areas of the New River Valley, namely due to the fact that some landowners will be facing a very real and present danger crossing their property – a fuel line, transporting natural gas, in some case just feet from their houses. That’s pretty scary stuff, and doesn’t account for the danger to water tables, ground stability (you know we have a lot of caves in the area, right?), and more. Some of this became very clear to me the other day when I took a call from a friend. He described how the proposed route was coming across a corner of his property, very close to the house. I knew he had some land, so I went and looked at the proposed route and noticed that the line and included easement weren’t just along a corner of his property – they are coming within ~ 30 yards of his house. Additionally, there’s only one way into and out of his property (the driveway), and that’s going to be affected by construction. It’s a real problem when you can’t get into and out of your house, you know?
There’s a long way to go on this, of course, but the issue is very real. People are going to be affected, and people are mobilizing. For an interesting look at the proposed route, including the easement on both sides of the line, download Google Earth to your computer, and then run this file – you’ll be able to see all sorts of detail regarding the project and where it crosses the various terrain and vistas we all enjoy.