Opponents Stand In Hand Across VA, 8 Other Lands Against Proposed Pipelines

Afton, VA - Standing on top of the stone bridge over Route 250, the chant of "no pipeline, no pipeline" suffused into the mountainous airs of Nelson County.

More than 100 Nelson and Augusta county residents pushed on with their protests against two proposed pipelines in Virginia. But these demonstrators have neighbors on their mind.

"I not only care about my property but also care about my neighbors," said Rae Kasdan, of Waynesboro, Va.

This call for no pipeline is called "Hands Across Our Land", prompting folks to stand united. It includes nine states from New York, Oregon, Ohio, even Texas through the commonwealth with activists speaking out in Roanoke and Buckingham, Augusta and Nelson Counties. Two proposed pipelines, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines have pathways from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina.

"I think the largest single reason for most of these folks is a protection of a rural way of life and the protection of our property and our constitutional rights," Marilyn Shifflet, an organizer for "Free Nelson", which helped put together the event between Augusta and Nelson Counties near Route 250.

It's a proposal sparking anger from a number of residents.

Lawrence Gaughan, a former candidate for the 5th District in 2014 spoke out against the proposals. As did Ellen Arthur, a current candidate for the 24th House of Delegates district, a seat currently held by Del. Ben Cline (R).

"Governor [Terry McAuliffe] and the democratic leadership have got to wake up and stop supporting big oil and big gas and fracking," said Gaughan.

"It's time to divest ourselves of fossil fuels. They're dirty. They're dirty in the extraction, they're dirty when they spill and they're dirty when they're burned," said Arthur.

In a press release, Free Nelson says it is in the process of recruiting county coordinators along the proposed paths of the two local pipelines.

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