2017-08-16 / Columns

Op-Ed: Pipeline Facts and True Law

The following two letters were submitted for publication in The Morgan Messenger issue of 8-2-17, the day Morgan County commissioners met to discuss citizen concerns about the Eastern Panhandle, West Virginia, gas pipeline expansion project. However, both were rejected because Letters to the Editor “are not meant to provide anyone with a platform to write again and again about their philosophy.” Hmmm..... (see philosophy footnote).*

Nevertheless, there is more truth below than in continuing Mountaineer Gas Company ads or in the gratuitous Op-Ed “from Eastern Panhandle Legislators” in last week’s paper – combined. By the way, who actually wrote that piece, and did they have to pay? We did (even though we aren’t selling you anything or selling you down the river).

DOWNPLAY – The favorite word used by greedy, powerful and manipulating fossil fuel corporations. When it comes to pipelines, they claim that they are safe, while they downplay every day incidents in the U.S. They downplay impact on the environment, even though farmland, rivers and forests are being ruined by natural gas pipeline corporations. There is nothing natural about them or their methods of operation. It’s all totally against nature and mankind; and with the law of eminent domain, you will see that the rights you thought you had are worthless.

What you work hard for, love and care the most about, doesn’t seem to matter to the very people you elected to protect these things. Everything is downplayed so that you will think that this future apocalypse is good for Morgan County. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you really want to know what’s going on, look online for the article: ‘The Case Against the Pipeline’ by Russell Mokhiber, Editor, Morgan County, U.S.A. His story is true, not lies that Mountaineer Gas would like you to believe. He’s a local Berkeley Springs resident who knows the imminent dangers that all West Virginians face from corporate money and power.

Forget your Commissioners, Governor, Senators, Congressmen, the EPA and the President – all bought and paid for. They don’t care about you; and if you think they do, you have bought their downplay. Your head is in the sand. While you’re at it, throw in the Sierra Club, according to Mokhiber’s research, they took $25 million from Chesapeake Energy.

Our protests are all we have! There is hope that more people will see what’s really happening to America and work harder to protect what is really ours – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: Our God given rights! So, always remember the big gas companies’ agenda – destroy the entire world for their own profit. That’s not our plan; ours is to stop their plan. It can be done.

Russell Ratliff

Berkeley Springs

PONZI SCHEME (Wikipedia) – A fraudulent investment operation where the operator generates returns for older investors through revenue paid for by new investors. Ponzi Schemes rely on constant flow of new investments to provide returns to older investors. When the flow runs out the scheme falls apart.

From ‘Silver Doctors’: “At some point investors and the market will need to wake up and realize that [fracked] shale energy was nice while it lasted, but it was just another Ponzi Scheme. Despite efficiency improvements, the shale industry is expected to be cash flow negative this year [2017]. The biggest 60 firms in aggregate have [raised] $70 Billion of equity since 2014, [but] debt remains high at just over $200 Billion [$200,000,000,000.00].”

As I suggested several weeks ago, this is not an intelligent, viable or sustainable business plan. Why then, are West Virginia’s lawmakers supporting this scheme by promoting a gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to U.S. Silica (with only a few years of operation remaining), to then be expanded by Mountaineer Gas to Berkeley County? The reason given by Mountaineer? “Procter & Gamble, the primary driver, is behind the gas expansion project.”

There is no “right reason” to this. If it is as safe as claimed, no one has come up with anything vaguely coherent to explain why the pipeline has to be built through Morgan County (instead of along existing rights-of-way such as I-81 or the CSX Railroad).

Mountaineer Gas VP Moses Skaff says his company hasn’t experienced the protest and opposition he has seen in the Eastern Panhandle. He thinks it’s “guilt by association with larger gas lines.” However, much of the opposition here comes because the pipeline will carry fracked natural gas, the production of which is extremely toxic to nature (people and the environment) through the degradation of air, water and land.

Skaff also says that “Usually they want us to come there and bring gas there.” But he contradicts himself by then boasting that “everybody’s pushing to get gas there.” So, which is it, and who is “everybody”? Full disclosure, please, without all the Ponzi Scheme bull from County Commissioners, 11 Panhandle Legislators, Federal Representatives and gas company officials.

Those who supposedly represent us in this country, founded as a republic, have obviously forgotten the fate of other republics that ignored the following: True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting... (Cicero/‘Of the Republic’).

John C. Webster

New Hope

*Philosophy: The investigation of causes and laws underlying reality.

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