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  1. #1
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Default Disappointed in the Pipeline Decision

    The pipeline that was going to be under the trail would have daily carried energy equivalent to 1,000 tanker trucks of heating oil. The US East Coast is pretty densely populated, and they are going to get their energy one way or the other. I would much rather walk over a short cleared area that has a pipeline under it than watch 1,000 semis cross the trail on roads. I think opposition to this project was dogmatic instead of based in an understanding of the options.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  2. #2

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    Take it up with Duke & Dominion. It was their decision to cancel the pipeline, for economic reasons. The "dogmatic" opposition lost in court.

  3. #3
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Actually, it was because of groups like the ATC spending their donor's money to fight it in a silly show of virtue signaling. I dropped my ATC membership because of that. They called me up to ask why and I told them I wanted my membership money to go towards maintaining my trail, not giving it away on lobbying.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  4. #4

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    "they are going to get their energy one way or the other"

    Slowly but surely, "the other" will be more solar and wind. The sooner the fossil fuel industry is unable to pass off its externalities on society as whole the better. I know that the LWCA funds from offshore leases, benefiting the trail and parks in some way.

    I think the process by which this project was halted is not very efficient, with so much sunk into it already. And there is certainly some virtue signaling going on. But I'm glad it worked out this way.

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    I appreciate the views provided by some of the various power lines that cross the trail. And it is rather selfish to think our trail is more important than the energy/business/economy concerns of our country. We fortunate to have a 2,200 trail that slices through the eastern part of our land.

    Looking into the engineering of the project, it seems that a tunnel was being considered (partially started?) that involved scarring a considerable? amount land at lower areas to build access roads and other facilities for the project. And that may be a good case. But with proper environmental science and a little time nature can easily heal herself.

  6. #6

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    The pipeline was mostly a play to supply cheap gas to a LNG facility owned by one of the partners. LNG is not imported to the US, its exported to other countries like Japan, China and Europe who do not have enough gas. It would not impact energy pricing or availability in the US.

    ATC very publicly shifted their focus from protecting a trail corridor from ME to GA to protecting a landscape from Maine to Georgia several years ago. In this case there were alternatives to routing the pipeline through a undeveloped area, it was not just the cheap one that the developers wanted. IMO ATC primary goal was getting clarification on what federal department has control of the AT over federal lands. Prior to the ruling the NPS had control (department of the interior) while this case put the USFS in charge is department of agriculture. Those departments have vastly different philosophy's, interior tends to be preservationist while agriculture is commercially oriented.

    BTW, major financial firms are declining making long term loans for new power plants running natural gas, their analysis is that these new plants may become stranded assets with no markets as renewables grow less expensive and some sort of carbon accounting kicks in.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    "they are going to get their energy one way or the other"
    Slowly but surely, "the other" will be more solar and wind. ...............
    The next battle will be over power lines crossing the AT carrying electricity from renewable sources instead of pipelines crossing the AT.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  8. #8
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The pipeline was mostly a play to supply cheap gas to a LNG facility owned by one of the partners. LNG is not imported to the US, its exported to other countries like Japan, China and Europe who do not have enough gas. It would not impact energy pricing or availability in the US.

    ATC very publicly shifted their focus from protecting a trail corridor from ME to GA to protecting a landscape from Maine to Georgia several years ago. In this case there were alternatives to routing the pipeline through a undeveloped area, it was not just the cheap one that the developers wanted. IMO ATC primary goal was getting clarification on what federal department has control of the AT over federal lands. Prior to the ruling the NPS had control (department of the interior) while this case put the USFS in charge is department of agriculture. Those departments have vastly different philosophy's, interior tends to be preservationist while agriculture is commercially oriented.

    BTW, major financial firms are declining making long term loans for new power plants running natural gas, their analysis is that these new plants may become stranded assets with no markets as renewables grow less expensive and some sort of carbon accounting kicks in.
    Dominion and Duke were supposedly going to use the major share of the gas for future gas fueled electric power plants in their growing service areas. But, now that they've won the major court battle, they basically have reversed course on their short term focus, citing future environmental court battles, and Dominion has sold its interest in the pipeline to Berkshire Hathaway. It's interesting in that Warren Buffet and Co. generally don't pick losers. Perhaps Berkshire has a longer term vision for their return on investment than Dominion, or projected carbon offsets from other assets they own if the politics/economics of environmental regulation change from the current loosening of regulations back to a more environmentally sound focus? Just speculating, but I'm doubting that all the pipe that has been laid is going to go to waste. https://www.bizjournals.com/charlott...c-coast-p.html

  9. #9

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    I'm still puzzled why current federal easements for interstate highways can't be used for pipelines transiting through protected lands or sensitive habitats. It would seem to be an easier permitting process since there would be little to no forest destruction and are not likely to receive public push back of an industry that routinely demonstrate disregard of environmental issues.

  10. #10

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    Its just requires an act of congress.

  11. #11
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Actually, it was because of groups like the ATC spending their donor's money to fight it in a silly show of virtue signaling. I dropped my ATC membership because of that. They called me up to ask why and I told them I wanted my membership money to go towards maintaining my trail, not giving it away on lobbying.
    Are you sure the ATC fought this in any way shape or form?

    Perhaps you are referring to a different issue than the one I am thinking about — which is the one that was recently argued before the Supreme Court.

    In the ATC’s Amicus brief for the court, the ATC pointedly did not advocate a position one way or another, but rather just provided background information on the AT.

    The Court decided in favor of allowing the pipeline too, right?

    Johnathan Turley (a passionate hiker and AT fan, as well as a great legal mind) may have had some comments on this on Twitter and elsewhere.

  12. #12
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Here is a link to Johnathan Turley’s thoughts on the SC decision:

    https://jonathanturley.org/2020/06/1...lachian-trail/

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic View Post
    Take it up with Duke & Dominion. It was their decision to cancel the pipeline, for economic reasons. The "dogmatic" opposition lost in court.
    I agree with you Bob. The ATC has lost their way.

  14. #14
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l0ngterm View Post
    I agree with you Bob. The ATC has lost their way.
    Your and Bob's disappointment is misdirected. As Rick B stated the ATC neither supported nor opposed the pipeline.
    More walking, less talking.

  15. #15
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l0ngterm View Post
    I agree with you Bob. The ATC has lost their way.

    The ATC provide the Supreme Court with background information on the Trail and how it is managed.

    As to the merits of the question before the Court, here is a direct quote from the Amicus Brief:

    The Conservancy does not take a position on that question, or on whether the particular pipeline at issue should go forward.

  16. #16

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    Few things fall harder than ironclad innuendo.

  17. #17
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Actually, it was because of groups like the ATC spending their donor's money to fight it in a silly show of virtue signaling. I dropped my ATC membership because of that. They called me up to ask why and I told them I wanted my membership money to go towards maintaining my trail, not giving it away on lobbying.
    Quote Originally Posted by l0ngterm View Post
    I agree with you Bob. The ATC has lost their way.
    Have either of you actually read the ATC's Amicus Brief on the pipeline? Here it is https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketP...4%20Amicus.pdf

    Beyond that though, how about a little realism about how things really work in this world no matter what your opinion of the legal/legislative system is. There would quite simply be no AT - nor any other maintained public trails - unless people had lobbied their government for the legislation that created and maintains all of them. Land acquisition, blazing, and maintenance of trails takes both legal authority and money. Authority created by legislation, and money created by tax appropriations. You think MacKaye (bureaucrat forester) and Avery (lawyer) and Judge Perkins (lawyer) didn't lobby Congress to create the AT in the first place? Or that the Trails Act appeared on the Senate floor out of thin air? You think all that happened without spending any money on lobbying or influencing? FWIW, ATC spends very little on lobbying considering their size, and almost nothing compared to the tens of millions spent by corporations such as Dominion and Duke, etc. As an example, in 2018, ATC spent a whopping $98,000 on lobbying according to their form 990. Most of that effort goes towards influencing bills that directly affect the trail or lands. Does that sometimes cross over into broader environmental policies? Probably. Does it sometimes appear to be virtue signaling? Probably. Will you agree with everything they do? Probably not. But, in the grander scope of things, the AT and other trails are better off as a result of ATC's efforts and existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    The next battle will be over power lines crossing the AT carrying electricity from renewable sources instead of pipelines crossing the AT.
    Been there, done that. Northern Pass. https://forestsociety.org/advocacy-issue/northern-pass

  18. #18
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    The next battle will be over power lines crossing the AT carrying electricity from renewable sources instead of pipelines crossing the AT.
    Harder will be the battles over building wind farms on mountain ridges paralleling the AT.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Actually, it was because of groups like the ATC spending their donor's money to fight it in a silly show of virtue signaling. I dropped my ATC membership because of that. They called me up to ask why and I told them I wanted my membership money to go towards maintaining my trail, not giving it away on lobbying.
    I dumped REI for the same reason. I don't think they cared much.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Have either of you actually read the ATC's Amicus Brief on the pipeline? Here it is https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketP...4%20Amicus.pdf

    Beyond that though, how about a little realism about how things really work in this world no matter what your opinion of the legal/legislative system is. There would quite simply be no AT - nor any other maintained public trails - unless people had lobbied their government for the legislation that created and maintains all of them. Land acquisition, blazing, and maintenance of trails takes both legal authority and money. Authority created by legislation, and money created by tax appropriations. You think MacKaye (bureaucrat forester) and Avery (lawyer) and Judge Perkins (lawyer) didn't lobby Congress to create the AT in the first place? Or that the Trails Act appeared on the Senate floor out of thin air? You think all that happened without spending any money on lobbying or influencing? FWIW, ATC spends very little on lobbying considering their size, and almost nothing compared to the tens of millions spent by corporations such as Dominion and Duke, etc. As an example, in 2018, ATC spent a whopping $98,000 on lobbying according to their form 990. Most of that effort goes towards influencing bills that directly affect the trail or lands. Does that sometimes cross over into broader environmental policies? Probably. Does it sometimes appear to be virtue signaling? Probably. Will you agree with everything they do? Probably not. But, in the grander scope of things, the AT and other trails are better off as a result of ATC's efforts and existence.

    Been there, done that. Northern Pass. https://forestsociety.org/advocacy-issue/northern-pass
    Nicely stated. Thank you.

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