Federal tax dollars misused

Published 9:35 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

To the editor:

Virginians should be alarmed that our Homeland Security tax dollars are being spent on surveillance of citizens who are opposed to the natural gas pipelines.

The Virginia Fusion Center receives $5.7 million of our tax dollars per year, and they have been trolling social media. Their rationale for this government snooping is that these persons may become involved in actions to delay or stop pipeline construction. This invasion of our privacy raises the specter of our country becoming a fascist state.

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Civil rights are at the heart of our democracy. Opposition to the pipelines enables the public, and our elected officials, to understand their negative impacts, heretofore hidden by the propaganda, money and lobbyists from the wealthy pipeline companies. Pipeline opponents should not have to fear that Big Brother is watching.

The pipelines are a bigger threat to our security than landowners, and our tax dollars would be better spent addressing those threats.

The perverted use of eminent domain to take our land for corporate gain by the pipeline companies amounts to legalized theft. How is our homeland secure under those circumstances?

There have been four major gas pipeline explosions in our country in the past several weeks. The two 42-inch gas pipelines through the extreme landslide prone slopes and karst terrain of western Virginia may be the most risky pipelines in our country. They are a combined 900-mile bomb with a zone of incineration nearly 180 square miles in size.

These pipelines will not be secured in any manner from terrorists, who could set off a bomb near one of them, resulting in a catastrophic pipeline explosion. They could also use a bulldozer, or even a pick and shovel.

They are vulnerable to foreign governments hacking into our infrastructure, and causing blackouts, if not explosions. They are an easy target.

The pipelines would accelerate climate change, and there is no bigger threat than climate change.

Citizens who are opposed to the pipelines are not a threat to our homeland security. The pipelines are.

Bill Limpert

Warm Springs