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  1. #1

    Default nytimes: Will the Appalachian Trail Stop an $8 Billion Pipeline?


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    That's behind a paywall.

    In short, while the US forest service might/has approved this pipeline the AT corridor is under a different agency, the National Park service which would have to permit it for that section, and they have not.

    In todays political climate that level of protection may disappear very quickly.

  3. #3

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    Sorry about the paywall. I'm a subscriber and automatically logged in. I thought you could view 10 articles per month for free as a non-subscriber, but maybe that's no longer the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post

    In short, while the US forest service might/has approved this pipeline the AT corridor is under a different agency, the National Park service which would have to permit it for that section, and they have not.

    .
    The question of whether the USFS can approve the pipeline, or whether only the NPS has that authority, is what the Supreme Court will hear arguments on.

    https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/02/a...-gas-pipeline/
    Last edited by gpburdelljr; 02-24-2020 at 11:46.

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    The Supreme Court appeared skeptical about the arguments against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline crossing of the AT:

    https://www.abralliance.org/wp-conte...st_2020224.pdf

    However, there are seven other federal permits which have been invalidated by the 4th Circuit. According to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing several environmental organizations in the case, the pipeline cannot be built unless all permits are approved.

    https://www.southernenvironment.org/...-supreme-court

    https://www.southernenvironment.org/...stern-virginia

    The ACP's cost was originally estimated at $4.5 billion, but the projected cost is now $7.5 to $8 billion, which could make the pipeline less attractive to investors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeseb View Post
    The Supreme Court appeared skeptical about the arguments against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline crossing of the AT:

    https://www.abralliance.org/wp-conte...st_2020224.pdf

    However, there are seven other federal permits which have been invalidated by the 4th Circuit. According to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing several environmental organizations in the case, the pipeline cannot be built unless all permits are approved.

    https://www.southernenvironment.org/...-supreme-court

    https://www.southernenvironment.org/...stern-virginia

    The ACP's cost was originally estimated at $4.5 billion, but the projected cost is now $7.5 to $8 billion, which could make the pipeline less attractive to investors.
    If I am not mistaken, no agency, be it the NFS or NPS or ANY other can authorize a pipeline through a National Park on Federal land.

    Only Congress can do that.

    The question is whether or not the AT is a National Park, or administered like one, or something else.

    The transcript of the oral arguments can out shortly after they were madeó recordings were scheduled to be out Friday.

    A lot of what was said was over my head (these people are bright) but one of the first questions posed by a Justice was who one would call if a tree fell over the trail in a National Forest.

    Not sure the lawyers gave the right answers on that one!

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    Here is a report on the proposal for drilling through the Blue Ridge at the AT crossing, by retired U.Va. environmental scientist Rick Webb.

    http://www.friendsofshenandoahmounta...170206-hdd.pdf

    AT HDD slope map Screenshot_2020-03-02 20170206-hdd pdf.jpg
    Last edited by reeseb; 03-02-2020 at 10:12. Reason: added image

  8. #8
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    I do take issue with the ATC just saying no. We need pipelines, gas lines, electric lines, cell towers, etc. You can't just say no.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

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    Quote Originally Posted by earlyriser26 View Post
    I do take issue with the ATC just saying no. We need pipelines, gas lines, electric lines, cell towers, etc. You can't just say no.
    I see your point but it would set a dangerous precedent that could be used to circumvent regulations in the future. This is almost more of a symbolic case than anything else--the AT is 2000+ miles long and the whole thing isn't a pristine wonderland so what difference does one section make? On the face of it, it doesn't seem like much but once that precedent has been set, developers will looking for every possible chink in the armor.
    "I am learning nothing in this trivial world of [humans]. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." --John Muir

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    Quote Originally Posted by earlyriser26 View Post
    I do take issue with the ATC just saying no. We need pipelines, gas lines, electric lines, cell towers, etc. You can't just say no.
    We don't "need" ANY of that, and we certainly don't "need" any more of that.
    traveliní light

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slugg View Post
    We don't "need" ANY of that, and we certainly don't "need" any more of that.
    I hope the irony of posting that online (networking that uses cellular or landlines), through a computer or phone that uses electricity, most likely in a climate controlled environment is not lost on you.

    The average person is under the impression that they do "need" these things. It would do us better to show people why we need to protect things like national parks and the trail systems that exist by getting them outside to enjoy the great outdoors, rather than trying to separate people from modern day conveniences they've come to know and love. Advocating for renewable energy, as briefly mentioned in the article, would also be beneficial.
    MEGA '19

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    Quote Originally Posted by C4web88 View Post
    I hope the irony of posting that online (networking that uses cellular or landlines), through a computer or phone that uses electricity, most likely in a climate controlled environment is not lost on you.

    The average person is under the impression that they do "need" these things. It would do us better to show people why we need to protect things like national parks and the trail systems that exist by getting them outside to enjoy the great outdoors, rather than trying to separate people from modern day conveniences they've come to know and love. Advocating for renewable energy, as briefly mentioned in the article, would also be beneficial.
    I agree with everything you said but firmly believe what I said is true as well.
    traveliní light

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    Fair enough, I just know how hard it is convincing my wife to leave the phone behind, try convincing the world....
    MEGA '19

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    Quote Originally Posted by earlyriser26 View Post
    I do take issue with the ATC just saying no. We need pipelines, gas lines, electric lines, cell towers, etc. You can't just say no.
    The ATC most definitely DID NOT say no with regard to this pipeline.


    The ATC filed an Amicus brief with the court to provide background on the Trail and the cooperative management arrangements now in place. It EXPLICITLY did not take a position on the legal merits before the court, or on the environmental impact (if any) of the pipeline in question.

    The ATC seems most concerned with how any ruling might impact the unique cooperative management arrangements that have served the Trail so well over the years.

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    Others, including Pam Underhill (a great friend of the Park) have taken other positions, which (as I understand it) is that the AT should be treated no differently than any National Park and be afforded the same protections under the law.

    Which would mean that In some instances Federal Agencies (headed by the executive branch of government) donít control all decisions impacting them, but rather some decision are left to the legislative branch (Congress) and signed into law by the President.

    So in some larger sense the question is NOT whether the pipeline is good or bad, but rather who gets to make the decision ó one man (or perhaps woman in the future) or a broader group of elected officials.

  16. #16

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    Unfortunately, pipeline owners are long on promises and assurances but incredibly short on accuracy and response planning as demonstrated with the Deep Horizon debacle and the more recent under-reported Keystone Pipeline spill in North Dakota that released 380,000 gallons into the ground near the Ogallala Aquifer. This aquifer is critical to the midwest, connecting to other aquifer systems that millions depend upon for irrigation and potable water. We won't know the full impact of this event for a while, however the behavior of the owners was predictable and, in my view, one of the drivers behind the push-back given the pristine waterways and forests of the Blue Ridge mountains region this pipeline plans to dig through or tunnel under.

    For this reason alone I agree with Rickb and would prefer the decision to allow pipeline placement not be left to one individual, but to a broader group of elected officials.

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