Part Two- Williamsville Resident on the ACP

One of the first reactions many people have to such a huge proposal as Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline is, “Well, what can I do?” After deciding how one truly feels about it, there are a whole variety of ways Bath County residents are choosing to get involved. Many of them are learning from neighbors in Highland and Augusta Counties who have been struggling with the issue for over two years. I asked Barry Marshall of Williamsville where he started.

“I did send a letter to the Forest Service stating my displeasure, and asking them not to allow the survey.” That was the public survey regarding the piece of National Forest included in the GW6 after the Forest Service declined Dominion’s first plan. There was also a demonstration, maybe one of Bath county’s first? on April 2nd , when groups across Virginia were asking Governor MaCauliffe to reverse his position on the ACP. Since then, Bath County’s board of Supervisors has also agreed to make a resolution opposing the pipeline.

–So, what did you think about 30 people gathering at a bridge across the Cowpasture River to stand for keeping the community safe and clean?

“Well, for the two days of notice I was very pleased. Probably though if we would have had a couple of weeks notice we could potentially have had a much bigger turn-out.”

A crowd gathered again last Thursday night in Burnsville to learn more from Appalachian Mountain Advocates, and the Sierra Club, about what individuals can do to stand up to Dominion. Both of those groups, and many others in the Appalachian Blue Ridge Alliance, or ABRA, offer a quick education in environmental law, community organizing, and the critical importance of alternative energy.

Barry mentioned a “stepping-stone”, which many experts consider solar, wind, or even an evolving technology for nuclear power.

“I read an interview that Tom Farrell had with his stockholders, and you know he made it sound like this is something America has to do, that we don’t have any other options; and that Americans don’t want nuclear, and so this is the sole answer. Well, this isn’t the sole answer. Elon Musk has the answer, and that’s put solar up in your back yards. And he’s got a battery wall that you can mount. He’s got two sizes of them, a seven kilowatt. and a ten kilowatt. And they’re designed to be charged at off-peak energy times so it can help level out the grid peaks. And even if you have solar panels, you can pull some of your power from the grid to charge. And even if you don’t have solar panels, if everybody had one of these, it could totally flatten out that line which would allow energy companies to produce about half of what they’re currently producing, which to me would solve, at least the current energy problems.”

For contact information and more, on the speakers who presented at the Burnsville meeting, see the news page on Allegheny Mountain Radio.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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