Complicated Discussions: Pipelines And Confederate Monuments On This West Virginia Morning

Jun 23, 2020

On this West Virginia Morning, in the only state born of the American Civil War, we explore the discussion of whether to remove statues that celebrate confederate civil war heroes. Also, an update on where pipelines and hiking trails intersect.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a victory to the 600-mile Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline. The issue at hand was whether the U.S. Forest Service could allow the pipeline to be built underneath the iconic Appalachian Trail. To make matters complicated, the trail is technically managed by the U.S. Park Service.  

The court’s ruling dove deep into the intent of a handful of different federal laws that regulate public lands, but in the end, it ruled that, yes, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline can be built under the trail.  

It’s just one high profile court ruling in a string of lawsuits brought against this and other pipelines. So, just how significant is this win? And what does it mean for the future of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — which is behind schedule and has ballooned in cost — and other pipelines here in Appalachia?  

Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson spoke with energy analyst and pipeline expert Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners to find out more. Here’s part of their conversation.

West Virginia seceded from Virginia 157 years ago to join the Union and reject the Confederate States of America. The state is the only one to have been born from the Civil War. Saturday marked the anniversary of its statehood. But Confederate monuments still exist across the state despite West Virginia’s history. Dave Mistich reports that, while some monuments have been toppled or ordered down elsewhere, they remain here in West Virginia.

He takes a look at the debate and what some historians say about a galvanizing moment in America as protests over racial injustice continue.

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