Court's decision a bump in the road

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear Dominion’s appeal for reinstatement of the permit to cross the Appalachian Trail is a bump in the road, not the end of the story. However this case is decided, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) faces many more challenges.

As the case goes forward, public appreciation of the weakness of the ACP proposal will continue to grow. Rather than carefully planning the best, least damaging route for this huge project, Dominion rushed ahead to secure potentially huge profits. To gain the necessary approvals, they relied on outdated laws like the Natural Gas Act, the industry-captured Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and their political pull with the state governments on the route. As shown by the numerous vacated and challenged permits, Dominion’s analyses of adverse impacts on the environment and local communities were woefully inadequate.

Dominion’s appeal to the Supreme Court is a Hail Mary attempt to rescue a pipeline that is clearly in jeopardy. The ACP is two years behind schedule and close to $3 billion over the estimated cost. Dominion’s captive ratepayers are waking up to the billions of dollars they will be compelled to pay for the pipeline and the additional 15 percent “return on equity” guaranteed by federal law. Investors are growing wary of fossil fuels; Moody’s has downgraded the ACP to a risky investment. Renewable energy continues its trend of increasing efficiency and declining cost. The myth of methane as a “bridge fuel” has evaporated. Public concern about climate change is growing explosively worldwide.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in the spring and render its decision by the end of June — assuming the turmoil in Washington doesn’t complicate things. In the meantime, expect Dominion to escalate its attempt to slip an amendment giving last-minute congressional approval into a large, must-pass bill and continue to drum up “grassroots” support for the ACP. Dominion has a lot riding on their pipeline — though not nearly as much as the communities in the path of this unnecessary, dangerous and costly project.



We won’t just ‘get over it’

Recently, the Trump administration came right out, got in our faces, and told us to “Get over it”.

The administration basically said, “Yes we are criminals but, get over it.” The president has been lying and cheating from way before he ran for president but he won so the American people don’t care. Get over it. The New Republic published “Trump’s Russian Laundromat” in 2017 that clearly showed illegalities and, as far as I know, has never even been questioned by the president determined to keep his tax records secret. You basically said, “Yes, our administration will readily desert our allies in a war but, get over it.” We will, however, guard the oil fields to show you where our priorities lie. Most of the rest of the world is trying their best to move their economies away from fossil fuels but we love the stuff that is rendering the planet uninhabitable for our grandchildren. Get over it. It is rather obvious that any future alliance with the US military will be seen as not being worth the paper it’s written on.

Admiral William McRaven penned an op-ed for The New York Times stating that he, for one, will not get over it. He accused the president of being at war with our country, thereby, committing treason though he never used that word. I ask what else would you call the actions of a president and his supporters that so demean the principles and spirit of the Constitution and the laws based on it. Can the president’s supporters just “Get over it.”? To them is party loyalty more important than loyalty to the Constitution? The administration basically said, “Yes, the president is a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, economic nationalist who has no respect for the environment or the future of humanity and only worships the dollar but, get over it.” Well, I won’t, and my short message to this president is “Resign or be prepared for getting over your removal by impeachment.”

The other week the administration did apply a liberal amount of humor with the statement that Gen. John Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, “was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President.” He also probably couldn’t handle the stuff you are consuming to come up with such outrageous horse manure as that statement. The closest our president could get to “genius” would be when he looked it up in the dictionary to get the correct spelling, but he won’t.

In local elections earlier this week, I must confess I voted Democratic. When the Republicans come in from the cold and start respecting the Constitution again, I’ll be glad to welcome them back into contemplation, but for now they fit too well to Noam Chomsky’s “insurrection” description for me to seriously support them. They do have good people running for the presidency like William Weld and Joe Walsh. I hope millions of Republican citizens will show support for these honest and well meaning Americans instead of the charlatan they elected last cycle.

Across the pond, Boris Johnson is, like Donald Trump, completely mired in the swamp he developed so well. He has called for elections but not the one thing that might settle the matter, a second referendum on Brexit, Britain’s leaving the European Union. Will his fear of that drive him out of office? Like us, fear is driving British politics. Like us, they can do so much better.



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