Talking Points for Letters: Issues with Natural Gas Pipelines

  1. Methane gas escapes and creates planet warming and climate change. Though natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide than its equivalent in coal when burned, its main component, methane, is a potent greenhouse gas when released uncombusted.
  2. Dangers, damages and deaths due to pipeline explosions, e.g., 30” pipeline explosion in Appomattox on September 14, 2008 instantly destroying two homes and damaging 100 more; 30” pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA on September 9, 2010 destroying 38 homes and killing eight; and a 20” pipeline explosion across I-77 in in Sissonville, WV on December 11, 2012.
  3. Natural gas pipeline explosions have killed hundreds of people, injured more than a thousand, and caused more than $5 billion in property damage. Between 1994 and 2013 there have been 5,623 “significant incidents” (costing more than $50K each), $6,700,203,540 in losses, 1,397 injuries, and 362 deaths
  4. Methane and other heavy hydro-carbons can enter ground water and thus drinking water.
  5. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is proposed to go through heavily karst topography. It will be like putting the pipeline line on swiss cheese.  Our landscape is filled with sinkholes, sinking streams, caves, and springs.  Natural gas liquids contain benzene and other heavy hydrocarbons which do not readily vaporize or disappear, and can be damaging to the karst aquifer.  Many of us get our water from wells which derive their water from karst aquifers.  Montgomery County has 82 known caves, Giles County has 301, and Roanoke County has 81.
  6. Pipelines are often maintained by aerial spraying of herbicides which can cause many health problems in children and adults including Parkinson’s disease later in life. The spraying of herbicides can also be harmful to livestock and crops.
  7. The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline will be 42” in diameter – a size never constructed in mountainous terrain as we have in the NRV.
  8. The proposed 42” pipeline, while being only 12” inches larger in diameter than the 30” pipelines causing catastrophic damage in Appomattox and San Bruno it will carry almost 2 times (~1.96) the volume of gas.
  9. The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline will have a capacity of 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day which means that it will be pushing 23,148 cubic feet of natural gas per second under or near homes, schools, and hospitals. Since each cubic foot of natural gas represents at least 1,000 BTUs, then that means 23.148 million BTUs per second flowing under or near homes, schools, and hospitals.
  10. This will be a high pressure pipeline having 1,440 PSI. If the pipe should burst, an unprecedented volume of gas will leave at an unprecedented pressure.
  11. A pipeline creates an inherent conflict with mortgages and property insurance due to the hazardous materials and commercial operations on/under a homeowner’s property.
  12. Reduced use of our land, lower land value, and reduced ability to sell, subdivide, or develop our land.
  13. Restrictions of the pipeline right-of-way are many: No buildings, No planting of trees, No roads, heavy equipment or trucks over the pipeline, No digging, No 4-whelers or dirt bikes down the right-of-way, and the restrictions go on and on.
  14. Technically we will still own our land, pay taxes on it, but we won’t be able to do much with it
  15. The pipeline can harm the groundwater for those of us on wells and contaminate the watershed into the New River which is the water source for the majority of county residents.
  16. The pipeline, its construction, and its restricted right-of-way would negatively impact economic development within Montgomery County.