As reported last week, Piedmont Natural Gas is irresponsibly and underhandedly proceeding toward construction of a pipeline across the campus of Davidson College.

Several graduates of the college are, or have been, in high government posts at the state (two ex-governors) and federal levels, not to mention numerous ones serving as top business executives in the region at, say, Progress Energy. Alumni – and especially faculty and students at the conservative institution – should belatedly rally to stop the destruction of an ecological preserve by the utility. The public is all too familiar with the ends justify the means mentality of utilities.

One is compelled to add, however, that some Davidson College officers have been sleeping at the switch, if the college only learned of the plan in January. The college states that Piedmont’s contractors trespassed on its land to survey the pipeline route and, in the process, cut down trees inside the nature preserve – which covers about a third of the Davidson campus. The college’s lawyer (of McGuire Woods) disingenuosly has written that “the obvious goal was to corner Davidson College by refusing to share information” and that the refusal “to deal openly and honestly with Davidson” yielded the siting decision. But such a project could not be that “covert.”

I would like to know on which College president’s (or vice president’s) watch did this blatant intrusion occur? There has to be more than meets the eye on an issue going back to 2010.

– William E. Jackson Jr., Davidson

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the Feb. 24 Herald Weekly article,
“College fights pipeline through preserve.“