Pipeline Protest Serves Up Half a Ton of Sweet Potatoes

What could be better for breakfast than sweet potato pie?

Employees of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission got a free piece of sweet potato pie on their way to work this morning when a group of activists tried to make a point about a pipeline’s potential impact on the North Carolina sweet potato crop.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project of Dominion Transmission and Duke Energy, is currently under review by FERC. The activists say the ACP, which would traverse 550 miles from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina, would, among other things, harm agricultural producers, such as sweet potato farmers in eastern North Carolina.

“The pipeline would cut my farm in half,” says Marvin Winstead, a North Carolina farmer and impacted landowner from Nash County. “I’d lose soil fertility and wouldn’t even be allowed to drive heavy trucks over the pipeline, which I have to do in order to harvest. The company threatens to take my land in court. Why should farmers be forced to sacrifice our land and livelihoods for this pipeline? Why should ratepayers be forced to pay for something they didn’t ask for and don’t want?”

Protest organizers from Beyond Extreme Energy, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Virginia and North Carolina landowners brought half a ton of sweet potatoes to the First St. headquarters of the FERC Commission. They not only served up pie, they handed out bags of sweet potatoes as well.

FERC is currently hamstrung because the Commission lacks a quorum to make its decisions official.