Last weekend, Yogaville received the incredible news that gifted us with the Guru Poornima blessing of the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project! The pipeline, with its compressor station originally slated to be installed about five miles from Yogaville (in Buckingham County), impacting the beauty and quietude of the area—let alone the hazards and potentially catastrophic safety issues it would have brought to the area. So, the news of the cancellation was received with great gratitude and jubilation!
The local CBS station covered this news, noting: “The Friends of Buckingham say this was a story of two communities coming together with one common goal, to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “It’s sort of been six years of constant, constant battling of this,” said Chad Oba, a resident of Union Hill and Director of the Friends of Buckingham. She says the fight against the pipeline and the compressor station in the Union Hill area began as soon as plans were released. “As the word got out of the location, of where they wanted to put it, people were outraged,” she said. The compressor station would have sat on 68 acres of land in Union Hill, a historically Black community. “The most deadly, most polluting infrastructures are in neighborhoods of the people of color,” Oba said.
Union Hill joined forces with neighboring Yogaville, a community of Yogis in Buckingham County, to fight against the pipeline. “We were able to join with our African-American brothers and sisters in the Baptist church community in Union Hill and we just became like one family,” said Jeeva Abbate, Director of Yogaville Environmental Solutions…. “Love one another, care for one another, protect each other’s community, and environment,” said Swami Dayananda, a member of the Yogaville Environmental Solutions and Friends of Buckingham. The Washington Post also noted the partnership between Union Hill and Yogaville in its article about the ACP cancellation.
Thank you to all who led the tireless protest against the pipeline these past 6 years including: Jeevakan Abbate: co-founder of YES, who led brilliant strategic interactions with Dominion; Swami Dayananda: co-founder of YES, who connected with Union Hill Baptist Church, bringing former vice-president Al Gore and Rev. William J. Barber II to our cause; Rev. Dr. Lakshmi Fjord, who researched Union Hill in light of environmental justice; Chad Oba: founder of Friends of Buckingham; Dhivya Berthoud: Secretary of Friends of Buckingham; Kenda Hanuman, who advocated in many ways; the many more Yogavillians who supported the cause; and the Friends of Nelson County, as well as many more environmental groups who worked so diligently against the ACP. (Our thanks to Swami Jyotirmayananda for additional reporting.)