Dominion wrapped up a dozen public open houses this week – events designed to explain a natural gas pipeline it hopes to build from the fracking fields of West Virginia to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.
The road to the Augusta Expo Center was lined with lawn signs – some reading Protect Our Water – No Pipeline, and No Pipeline on our Farms and Forests, while other signs promised Safe Energy, Energy Jobs and Energy Independence. Inside, however, there appeared to be consensus.
Nine months after 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River from a decommissioned power plant in North Carolina the ultimate environmental, economic and legal consequences remain unknown.
The community most immediately and most visibly affected by the spill was Danville in Southside Virginia where residents were shocked to see the river's surface covered with a sickly gray film the morning after the release.
Duke Energy – owner of the power plant – has been able to retrieve 3,000 tons of ash from the Dan and says the rest will dissipate.