A wall of grass?
In general, I think tolerance is a good thing. I try to be a tolerant person.
There are some things that test my tolerance. One is people who set one group of Americans against another — people who divide Americans.
The recent letter supporting construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is a prime example. The author wants us to believe that a small group of misguided souls is working against the public interest to block pipeline construction. We are told that these bad people want to deprive us of jobs and money.
That’s not nice. And it’s not true. There are perfectly respectable arguments on both sides of the issue. The main difference is that the folks who support the pipeline often have something to gain by having it built. Pipeline opponents have nothing to gain whether it is built or not.
The only people who will benefit from the finished pipeline are corporations and billionaires who have no connection to Pocahontas County. Corporate interest and public interest are not, and never have been, the same thing. What’s good for out-of-state corporations seldom helps, and often hurts, us here at home.
The pipeline is no exception.
One good reason to oppose the pipeline is that it offers Pocahontas County next to nothing.
We get no gas from the pipeline. We get no industry. We get no long-term jobs. Any tax revenue we get will be decided behind closed doors in Charles-ton. Does anyone think those folks have our interests at heart?
Pipeline supporters say the ACP will be a great economic boon. How? Not one home in this county will be kept warm by gas from the pipeline. And, if the pipeline is built, not one job in this county will depend on the gas flowing through the ACP. Not one.
Why should the good people of this county support a project that does us no good?
The main thing that Pocahontas County will get from the pipeline is a scar as wide as a football field across its middle. A scar which, pipeline designers claim, will disappear safely under a scattering of grass seed.
Grass seed? They must be kidding. I’ve personally dumped countless tons of chert and limestone on my driveway. I packed it down with a dozer. It washed out.
It’s fantasy to think that a little grass seed will stabilize a mountainside.
I’m all for economic development in this county. But I’m not interested in any project which will only benefit a handful of billionaires. Why should this county clear the way so that someone in New York can buy another private jet?
On economic development issues, let’s put Pocahontas County first.
Kudos to Michael Holstine for his letter in the December 27 edition of The Pocahontas Times. Thank you for speaking out for the silent majority.