Dominion continues to pursue ‘land grab’

Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

To the editor:

I am disappointed, although not surprised, by the Virginia Supreme Court rulings regarding surveying for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Our personal freedoms and private property rights have been progressively taken away from us in recent years, as powerful corporations dictate the laws to our elected officials.

I am struck by Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby’s boast in his response to the rulings. He stated that Dominion has revised its survey policy and is now notifying landowners of a specific date that a survey crew will enter upon a landowner’s private property.

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Dominion should have been doing this all along. Instead, they were forced to do so, and only after Virginia citizens were required to expend their money, their time and their peace of mind by challenging Dominion in court.

Mr. Ruby’s comments regarding Dominion’s cooperation with landowners also represent a stretch of epic proportions.

This isn’t a cooperative collaboration. This is a land grab, pure and simple. Dominion isn’t cooperating with landowners. The company is using and abusing landowners. My wife and I and others have been bullied and harassed throughout the survey process. We’ve suffered extensive property damage by an unannounced and unaccompanied survey crew hacking their way through our mountain laurel grove.

We’ve had to fight to receive even incomplete, inaccurate and months-late survey reports for our own property and have been sent deceptive easement agreements cloaked in legal language.

Mr. Ruby and Dominion continue to tout the ACP as vitally important to meet an urgent and growing need for cleaner electricity. But the truth is that there is no urgent and growing need.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that energy use in Virginia and North Carolina has decreased during the past decade and predicts that it will remain flat through 2030.

We know where the gas will be going: overseas. We know as well that natural gas systems are as dirty as coal in greenhouse gas emissions. And any unexpected need for more energy here at home could be filled by truly clean and affordable renewable energy systems.

The bottom line is that Dominion values landowners as easy targets in order to achieve windfall profits at our expense.

William F. Limpert

Warm Springs