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Help Robie Goins Fight A Pipeline

$3,100 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 4 months
Created August 26, 2018
Brothers Robie and Dwayne Goins of Robeson County are members of the Lumbee Tribe and live in Prospect, NC, a majority Native American community. Dwayne lives adjacent to a site where Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC has announced plans to build a gas metering and regulation station and a 350 ft. microwave tower (to control the station remotely). Prospect, already burdened with two older pipelines and associated gas infrastructure, is now slated to become the 36 inch, 1400psi Atlantic Coast Pipeline's official southern terminus.

Robie and Dwayne have filed suit in Robeson County challenging a conditional use permit issued to the company by the county a year ago. They're not seeking a monetary reward, but only to ensure that existing zoning laws are followed and their rights as citizens are protected. They're also attempting to uncover the nature and extent of communications between county commissioners and pipeline company representatives before the vote was taken. [Edit:  The Goins brothers have now been joined in the suit by the Cummings family and the Tuscarora Tribe of NC, both of whom own property adjacent to the site.]

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, if built, will bring fracked gas from WV to NC. The pipeline's many critics, however, cite studies showing that extra gas capacity is not needed in the region. They say that the project's principal sponsors, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, are simply seeking the federally guaranteed 14% rate of return on large pipeline projects. Like these critics, the Goins believe that investor profits do not justify taking private land, risking health and safety, raising consumer energy rates, or damaging the climate.

This lawsuit is important because it represents a historic Lumbee community's last line of defense against the siting of a metering station--an intrusive and dangerous piece of industrial infrastructure--in a residential area by an aggressive energy behemoth in violation of the law.

But the suit is also a vital link in a much longer chain of resistance stretching 600 miles across similarly affected communities in Virginia and North Carolina all the way back to fracking wells at the start of the route in West Virginia. The Goins' case could slow or stop ACP construction in Robeson County, but more than that, it could establish durable legal precedent in North Carolina in similar cases to reclaim local control from abusive corporations aided and abetted by misaligned state and federal regulatory agencies.

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The fight to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is happening now and Robeson County is on the front lines.


Please support Robie and the other plaintiffs with a contribution to help pay for their legal representation. Court proceedings are already in motion and donations are needed immediately. Your donation in any amount will make a difference to the outcome of this case. Please help spread the word! When we win, we win together.


NOTES:  The Alliance To Protect Our People and Places We Live (APPPL) is conducting this campaign as a project of its Legal Education and Action Fund. More info at apppl.org . 

APPPL's fiscal sponsor is Community Roots (cmroots.com ). This means that Community Roots serves as the nonprofit 501(c)3 umbrella under which donations to APPPL may be considered tax exempt and through which APPPL contributions are channeled. Contributors will receive regular updates on the status of the case and, if desired, written year end documentation of gifts for tax purposes.

All monies contributed to this campaign minus GoFundMe service fees and fiscal sponsorship fees go in their entirety to pay Robie and Dwayne's legal bills. Raleigh attorney Sean Cecil of Edelestein & Payne is representing the Goins family.

Are you local to the Robeson County area? Then check out EcoRobeson and join the resistance! Go to ecorobeson.wordpress.com  for meeting dates and times.

To watch a free 20 minute video on the multi-racial, environmental justice work in Robeson County which seeded this legal action, go to www.robesonrises.com.

Thank you to the Southern Environmental Law Center for their permission to use video of Robie. Learn more about the ACP's route and people at SELC's excellent website, www.southernenvironment.org/inthepath.
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Update 4
Posted by Greg Yost
19 days ago
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Update #4 (January 2, 2019)

Happy New Year, pipeline fighters! We're starting 2019 with some momentum with respect to North Carolina's two pipeline threats, the Atlantic Coast and the Mountain Valley. A lot has happened in court, particularly in Virginia, to slow or stop construction here at the start of the year.

Thank you to all of you who have donated to help Robie and others in their bid to stop the ACP from steamrolling Robeson County. Our attorney expects that at long last we'll have a court appearance sometime later this month. We'll post more news about that as soon as we know details. For those of us who can get there, it may be helpful to show up to court on one of those days.

And now a housekeeping detail about your donations... We had written many of you earlier to say that we'd be providing documentation at year's end for tax purposes in the event that you wished to claim this contribution on your 2018 income taxes. We've since learned that the receipt and acknowledgment you received from GoFundMe/Paypal when you made your donation suffices for that. So check your inboxes for that earlier email if that's something you need.

(To explain just a bit further, our previous mention of a year end letter with that documentation was made with the incorrect assumption that we would have access to your email addresses and other information. As it happens, GoFundMe holds those close and they've given us nothing more than the names you provided. This email, for example, is sent to you directly from GoFundMe, not from us.)

Once again, THANK YOU for your generosity in supporting this piece of the resistance to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. May this be the year that we end it for good!

Sincerely,
Greg and the folks at APPPL
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Update 3
Posted by Greg Yost
2 months ago
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Update #3 (October 29, 2018)

Nearly six weeks have passed since we posted our last update on our court challenge to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Robeson County. The reason: judicial gears grind slowly and we've been waiting for the judge to render a set of decisions on the first round of petitioning we initiated back in August.

Those decisions have now been announced and, generally speaking, they are 90% favorable to our side. For instance, we've been allowed to add more plaintiffs to the case. One new plaintiff is the Cummings family who own a restaurant at the Cozy Corner (which we referenced in our first update on September 1st). The other new plaintiff is the Tuscarora Tribe of NC. Both the Cummings and the Tuscarora Tribe hold land immediately adjacent to the proposed pipeline infrastructure site and so this strengthens our standing before the court.

We anticipate that a final hearing in the case may occur in mid-December. Until then, the judge has allowed us to proceed with discovery regarding communication between the pipeline company and the county commissioners with respect to the metering station and tower. Unfortunately, discovery with respect to the pipeline in general was ruled out of bounds. We had argued back in August that impermissible bias existed in the county's granting of the permit because of its prior endorsements of the pipeline and, furthermore, we believe that the entire history of the pipeline company's sales spiel is relevant to our case, especially any promises that were made off the record and in private (such as in emails). But while such information may still prove useful, it will now need to be unearthed through some other means than discovery.

So the case continues to chug forward and we hope for a positive outcome in which the permit is overturned or a later re-hearing granted. If the latter, then we'll do our best to ensure that the expert testimony and public input we were denied the first time will now become part of the new record.

To sum up, the pipeline company thought they had this crucial Robeson permit locked up six months ago, but we're getting close to 2019 and they still don't have it. And their inability to sew up such a seemingly small detail in this massive $6.5 billion project reinforces other instances of legal and political resistance elsewhere at the local, state, and federal levels.

And so our fight continues. Financial support is as important as ever. Thank you, and please help spread the word.
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Update 2
Posted by Greg Yost
4 months ago
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Update #2 (September 18, 2018)

We've been waiting for the judge to deliver his decision on the first round of motions and supporting documents we submitted back in late August. But so far, the only news of Robie and Dwayne's lawsuit that we can pass on right now is that we'll apparently need to wait a little longer before we hear.

But of course, there's also other news. As everyone is already well aware, North Carolina was the bulls eye for Hurricane Florence this past week which dropped unfathomable amounts of water on Robeson, Cumberland, and many other counties in the east. The Rev. Mac Legerton, an APPPL member from Robeson and the director of the Center For Community Action, says that damage from Florence exceeds even that of Hurricane Matthew from two years ago. Mac's assessment is all the more sobering once you know that Mac has worked with volunteer groups nonstop up until the present day in Robeson just repairing the damage caused by Matthew.

The news is grim, but there's nothing for it but to join together once again. Here are three resource pages we recommend for best directing supplies and your financial support to impacted people and communities. You can copy and paste these into your browser's URL bar if they're not automatically highlighted. Lot of info at each of them.

https://anothergulf.com/a-just-florence-recovery/
http://bit.ly/2QLPcFs
http://www.ncwarn.org/hurricane-florence-relief-fund/

Finally, for those of us involved in the struggle against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, we know that extreme weather such as we've experienced this week is not a distraction from our fight, but rather a vivid and pointed demonstration of how much is at stake. Ever increasing levels of climate chaos are exactly what we buy when we pay for and build new fossil fuel infrastructure. As North Carolinians begin to dig out from this disaster, we at APPPL are going to try to be sure this important message is also heard. We hope you'll help us--and continue to help spread the word about the GoFundMe and the lawsuit.
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Update 1
Posted by Greg Yost
4 months ago
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Update #1 (September 1, 2018)

Sean Cecil, Robie and Dwyane's attorney, submitted a requested "memorandum of law" to the court on August 28th. The document (27 pages) is available to read at http://bit.ly/2Nb2GLK. Check it out if you'd like to know more about the case. We're waiting for the judge to render a decision on this first round of motions. That should happen soon.

The picture we've included was taken in the spring of 2017 during APPPL's 180 mile walk along the proposed route of the ACP in North Carolina. The woman is Charly Lowry, a dynamic Lumbee traditional singer. We were standing in Prospect's Cozy Corner next to Dwayne's home (visible from the air in the last video). Charly sang a solo, unaccompanied version of "Idle No More" to the weary walkers that day. Watch the Youtube video if you haven't heard this song before. The women of Ulali (with Charly on the left) are bearing witness to power that can raise people up and connect them together.

...Which is exactly what this lawsuit is about. We are regular people combining our pennies in order to surprise some companies who assumed they'd easily roll over us. But beyond that, we're busy setting things right inside ourselves, helping each other recognize that saying no to climate destroying pipelines is the most right and natural thing in the world.

Please join us and continue to help bring others on board. We're off to a great start, but now we have to grow. Literally every dollar and every person we add begins to transform the vision of #NoACP into reality.
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$3,100 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 4 months
Created August 26, 2018
Funds raised will benefit:
Community Roots, Inc.
Certified Charity
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Black Mountain, NC
EIN: 262926801
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Hope Taylor
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1 month ago
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Robie Goins
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2 months ago
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