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TRI In The News

Nonprofit Sues Forest Service for Denying Medical Aid to Pipeline Protestor


A Virginia nonprofit sued the National Forest Service on Wednesday for denying medical attention, food and water to a Mountain Valley pipeline protester. 

The Rutherford Institute filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, saying Forest Service agents violated Dr. Greg Gelburd’s rights to examine a 28-year-old protester who had been sitting on a 45-foot pole on the proposed path for the Mountain Valley pipeline. 

The makeshift poles have become a common way for protesters to demonstrate against the pipeline. 

“Pipeline and forestry officials have been working hard to make life as difficult as possible for the pipeline protesters,” Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead said in a statement. 

“By shining floodlights into the trees at all hours of the night, creating ground disturbances, directing smoke into the trees, and blocking the protesters’ access to food, water and medical care, the government has made it clear that its priorities have little to do with respecting the rights of the American people and everything to do with corporate profits at taxpayer expense," he continued. 

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is supposed to extend 303 miles from West Virginia to Virginia, and will move 2 billion cubic feet of fracked natural gas per day, according to Think Progress. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council reported that the pipeline could cause harm to 1,000 water crossings in Virginia.