Preserve Craig – West Virginia judge rules against MVP

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Joseph Fisher headstone.

Bill Wolf,
Co-Chair Craig, Inc.

FERC rubber-stamps dangerous expanded MVP blasting plan


This week’s top headlines:

  • The deadline for tree-clearing has passed, and the tree-sitters are still perched on Peters Mountain near the Appalachian Trail (AT).
  • The Forest Service (FS) issued its fifth revised closure order, banning the public from more roads and restricting the Appalachian Trail to a 48” width across the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) corridor.
  • FERC Project Manager Paul Friedman approved a major expansion of MVP’s blasting orders two hours after receiving MVP’s request and even before the public was notified of the application.
  • Preserve Craig attorneys filed formal objections to Friedman’s actions.
  • Judge Irons ruled against MVP, finding that the project has not been proven a public necessity.
  • FERC Project Manager Paul Friedman rudely rejects the Craig County request to protect historic sites.
  • Protester in Giles County blocking Forest Service Road arrested by State Police.
Historic Cemeteries at risk near MVP.

A West Virginia court rejected MVP claims, ruling that MVP is still a pending project and may or may not be built. MVP also failed to prove that the tree-sitters are in an area they have permission to cut trees. Judge Irons ruled that MVP’s approvals and public necessity are still on appeal. He concluded MVP has not proven they will build this pipeline or has the capacity to complete it on the schedule they propose. In other words, it is not a done-deal as there are court cases pending and FERC re-hearings required. MVP is creating its own financial risk by rushing to build. The ruling in Monroe County rejected injunctive relief and required the case go to trial.

The final order is posted at the Preserve Craig website and concluded: “The [tree sitters] generally represent the interest of the public and the environment, such as the interest in protecting the waters underlying Peters Mountain, its flora and fauna, its view shed, the ANST and similar interests that will or may be destroyed, if this request for a preliminary injunction is granted, and the project proceeds before the public interest is considered at a trial on the merits. These interests may suffer irreparable harm if the preliminary injunction is granted.”

Meanwhile, the FERC’s Project Manager, Paul Friedman, is now approving MVP requests before they can even be published or considered while rejecting Craig County formal requests to protect historic sites. Both Preserve Craig and the Craig County government informed FERC that there are historic sites on the pipeline route that need to be studied and protected. Friedman rejected the claim, relying entirely on MVP’s flawed and intentionally false data. MVP even changed the history of historic cemeteries and sites to avoid further study. Friedman’s rude and faulty response to the County and his illegal decisions are not the proper behavior of a public agency employee and will be investigated by Preserve Craig.

We need help to protect our community

Preserve Craig is pursuing every legal means to stop MVP by appealing FERC, DEQ, Forest Service and BLM decisions based on false information from MVP. We must fight these horrendous precedents, or there will be more intrusions on our rights and quality of life. Please donate to help to protect Craig County and this special place.

Preserve Craig, Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit volunteer public charity formed in 1991 to protect our natural, historical and cultural resources. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.preservecraig.org or by mail to Preserve Craig, Inc., PO Box 730, New Castle, VA. 24127. Phone: 540-309-9560. Email: preservecraig@gmail.com