Just across Hwy 151, my extended family and I have all built our homes. My sister Dawn, who is a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, also has AIDS, and when she had the first of her two daughters, she knew she would never be able to get Life Insurance and she might not make it 40 years to contribute to a 401K. So we bought land here together in 2003 to do two things: spend more time together while we can and so she could invest in a desirable piece of land to leave as a legacy to her two daughters. The new South Alternate Route cuts across that very piece of land stealing the value and making it worthless.
And for what? Everything Dominion claims this pipeline will do for our country and our community – energy independence, job creation, all of it – can be accomplished by running this pipeline in existing right’s-of-way. And the ONLY reason not to, is because getting the new right’s-of-way is actually a big part of the goal for Dominion. This isn’t just about the gas. It is about your land. These land grabs are a way to build the long-term value of Dominion and a new pipeline is just the guise to get it. Masquerading as a public utility, Dominion is trying to increase it’s corporate value by stealing that very same value from individual citizens too small to fight them and too poor to invest the tens of millions in our political system Dominion has invested; effectively buying the votes to get your land. Not ONE of Dominion’s proposed routes is designed to consider a responsible solution with the least possible impact on individual rights. Shouldn’t Dominion have to demonstrate that there is NO OTHER WAY to get this gas to market before they can even consider forcing us to lease our land against our will? Who should have the rights to Dawn’s property – Dominion or her daughters?
Over the last 10 years, on our 130 acres we have built four homes. We have laid down our roots. Together with us, our two sisters and my parents have settled in and have been raising our collective 7 children here all together. It is our dream come true. On Sunday's we gather for family dinners. During the school year the kids do homework together, swim at my sisters pool together in the summer and sled down our hills together in the winter. After 10 years we have settled into a wonderful rhythm of life. Since the pipeline route was announced, it has taken a toll on our emotions. The threat of Dominion taking away the very dreams we have worked so hard to create without us having a choice is not only unconstitutional but criminal. We will not give up this fight. Our kids deserve to know that they can dream and dream big and that no one can take those dreams away.