RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A public land preservation organization in Virginia has approved easements that will allow two natural gas pipelines to be built in mountainous areas of the state.
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation's board of trustees approved 11 easements on Monday, the board said on its website. In exchange for crossing 53 acres of protected land, two pipeline developers will convey to the foundation 1,130 acres of substitute land in three counties.
Both pipelines would start in West Virginia, carrying gas from the Appalachian basin to U.S. markets. Prominent business and political leaders back the projects, saying they will lower energy costs and boost economic development. But opponents, including environmental groups and landowners, say the projects will infringe on property rights, damage pristine areas and commit the region to fossil fuels for decades.