Standing Up

I walked down there tonight.  Down to the covered bridge that will be within feet of the pipeline construction zone if the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project is approved by FERC. coveredbridge I stood there, with my dog, imagining what it would look like with a 125-foot wide swatch of land is cut through this vegetation.  I tried to picture the foot wide maple tree in front of me laying on its side, being hauled away.  I saw the homes to my right behind impacted by months long construction as the pipeline is maneuvered under Chiques Creek.  I thought of the corn growing to the South of my view, and how, according to a local farmer, it just never grows the same again after they have re-compacted the soil.  It wasn’t a pretty dream.  It was a bit of a nightmare.

I can be melodramatic.  In fact, I thought it best to want to type this out tonight sitting at my backyard table under a near full moon, being warmed by the sticky Summer air.  But even with my homemade natural bug spray on me, the mosquitoes had infested the area for the night.  I wasn’t welcome.  I just got accepted into a course to become a PA Master Naturalist, which is great, because half the trees I viewed by the proposed pipeline construction zone, I could not identify.  I’m just being honest here.

I may be melodramatic,  I may not know that much, but I have passion and hope and a very. strong. voice.

I get worried about massive projects like this when I read things like this – when they violate their own procedures and don’t check for corrosion.  These things don’t make me feel safe about the fact that the pipeline may be a block away.

I understand the benefits.  My own neighbor is employed making pipelines for companies such as Williams.  I would prefer to cook, in my home, with a gas stove instead of electric.  We should support local work, manufacturing, industry.  But at what cost?

At what point do we step back from all of this forward motion and ask questions about what companies, corporations and the government are putting into our land, air and water?  Have we asked for them to do this since we are a nation of consumers and users?  Why haven’t we pushed for renewable resources, for greater advances in technology to support our growing needs as a nation?  Why are we letting corporations dictate our decisions?

Pipeline to the left, my neighborhood to the right.

Pipeline to the left, my neighborhood to the right.

Lancastrians are speaking out against this pipeline because they are realizing that we cannot let strong, powerful groups dictate the way we live without our input.  We cannot keep signing over waivers to companies who use laws such as eminent domain to push their projects on our land.  We cannot let our land keep being developed.  We were once a county of farmers, and now we are a county of consumers.

We can shy away and say that we don’t have a say in this, but we do.  It is that shrugging mindset that has put this country into much of the shambles it is in economically-because we have let corporation and government do whatever the hell they have wanted to do to us.  Because we consume beyond measure without regard for the risks.

I’m showing you the risks right now.  Your property.  Crop loss.  Explosions.  Fumes.  Construction.  Deforestation.  Crippled flora and fauna.  Our rights.

Stand up.

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