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Letter: Stop pouring dollars into misguided MVP

Do you remember Tom Hanks' '80s comedy movie "The Money Pit"? A married couple dumps more and more money into a hopeless “fixer upper” house.

Virginia is experiencing its own money pit scenario, but there’s nothing funny about it. The boondoggle, known as the Mountain Valley Pipeline, began as a serious error in judgement made by our federal government. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that since investors were willing to spend more than $2 billion to build a fracked gas pipeline, then it must be a good idea.

The plan required an unprecedented 300-mile route through rugged mountainous and karst terrain. MVP seized the opportunity to use eminent domain to usurp citizens' property rights and destroy miles of farms and pristine forest.

But, as the movie illustrates, with construction things often go awry. A pipeline of this magnitude had never been built across such treacherous terrain. MVP amassed fines for more than 300 instances of damage or disregard for environmental requirements. Government agencies eventually shut down construction and fined MVP over $200 million. Meanwhile numerous lawsuits beseeched the government to reconsider approval.

Even though MVP never gained all the permits required to cross hundreds of bodies of water, they assembled other sections of this pipeline to nowhere. Now, with an estimated cost skyrocketing to more than $6 billion, they’re ready to gouge a path through some of the most pure and pristine water bodies in the entire country. Yet, as demand for gas falls rapidly, and renewable energy prices undercut its cost, MVP is prepared to flush billions more down this pipeline money pit.

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality has chosen to support the monied interests while our citizens, especially the poor and marginalized, suffer from this unnecessary degradation of our environment.

It’s time for our government to recognize the true destructive scale of this ill-conceived project. We must shut MVP down before if does more damage to our precious land and water. If completed, it will become a climate bomb that undermines the clean energy goals of our state, nation and planet. 

David Seriff, Blacksburg 

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