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Virginia landowners fighting to retain their property

Long ago, he answered his nation's call and fought in the Korean War. Today, the 88-year-old Navy veteran and Virginia landowner is fighting a new foe: developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

George Jones and about a dozen others opposed to having the pipeline laid through their property against their wishes have filed a lawsuit and taken their opposition to court. They argue that developers and regulators are improperly using eminent domain to unconstitutionally seize their land for the 300-mile-long natural gas pipeline.

“He fought in the Korean War for other countries’ freedom, and then he comes back home . . . and he’s fighting for his own freedom, for his own land,” said Jones' son Donald, who has stepped in to help in the fight after his father had a stroke that limits speech.

Others have joined the fight by camping out in trees along the project's path, hoping to stop construction work. The Mountain Valley pipeline is to transport natural gas from the Appalachian Basin through the center of West Virginia and connect to a 10,000-mile pipeline system in southern Virginia to serve markets in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Many landowners say the pipeline won't serve them, however. One opponent of the project said if the land was going to be used for "a school or hospital or highway or a library," she and her husband would probably donate it. “But this is not going to do anybody in the area or in our family any good at all.”

We do not take a position here on the project or its opponents, but we do know that to protect your rights and interests, you must sometimes take a stand.

An attorney who knows the law, courts, judges, processes and procedures can help you fight for what is right.

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