Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues Protesters, Because That's One Way to Solve Environmental Disputes
Written by: Sam Orlando
ROANOKE, VIRGINIA - In a bold move that’s sure to win hearts and minds, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP) has decided to take legal action against two individuals who apparently didn't get the memo that protesting pipeline construction in a national forest is a no-no. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court (Case 7:23-cv-00727-EKD), seeks injunctions and damages for what MVP calls 'interference' with their work in the Jefferson National Forest.
According to MVP, they have all the right pieces of paper – approvals from Congress and every agency with a stamp – to build a pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia, crossing approximately 3.5 miles of the national forest. But Daniel Guidry and Ashley Stecher Wagner, the defendants in this saga, seemed to have missed the email.
These two, labeled as 'opponents' of the pipeline, allegedly went out of their way to stop the construction. The complaint alleges they used a tactic involving attaching themselves to equipment or the ground with something called 'sleeping dragon devices' - because apparently just standing there with a sign is so last century. This not only required law enforcement to intervene but also, according to MVP, cost them time and money.
MVP is not just asking for a slap on the wrist here. They want the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions against the defendants, barring them from interfering with the pipeline work. Oh, and they are also asking for compensatory and punitive damages, because why not aim high?
The lawsuit highlights a classic David versus Goliath scenario, if David was armed with legal papers instead of a sling. It's a tale as old as time: big company meets forest, big company wants to put a pipeline through forest, forest lovers say 'not so fast'.
MVP seems determined to prove that when it comes to building pipelines, no amount of human chains, sleeping dragons, or heartfelt protests will stand in their way. After all, nothing says 'responsible environmental stewardship' quite like suing those who dare to disagree.
The defendants in this case have not yet filed a response to the complaint. Stay tuned to Breaking Through News