Virginia woman's horseback protest against pipeline is almost done

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A Virginia woman who mounted a horseback protest against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is nearing the end of her journey through three states.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Sarah Murphy arrived this week in Cumberland County, North Carolina, after riding along the pipeline's route and expects to finish in the next week or so near Pembroke.

The 36-year-old Murphy and her two horses have been traveling since she left her home in Nelson County last September.

"Coming through West Virginia, where they have a lot of active pipelines and projects going in, it's heartbreaking to see what the reality of that is," she told WCAV in April. "We haven't had it here."

By traveling with her horse, she hopes to send a unique message to communities about the pipeline's use.

"Nobody rides horses as a mode of transportation anymore. Everyone drives. So I think it's a good juxtaposition between saying this is a dead or dying way and we've moved on to something else," Murphy said. "I think that parallels with what is happening with the gas industry."

The 600-mile, $7 billion natural gas pipeline is to run from the mountains of West Virginia to eastern Virginia and to Robeson County in North Carolina. Construction began last year but has been delayed by federal litigation.

The pipeline is a project of Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas.

Karl Neddenien, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, released the following statement earlier this year in response to Murphy's protest ride:

"We are building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with some of the strongest environmental protections and under the most intense scrutiny of any infrastructure project in the region’s history. No project has ever been built in our region with as much attention to the environment and public safety. Regardless of temporary delays, we know that the completion of ACP is essential to meeting the energy needs of millions of Americans, and we are confident in the ultimate outcome: The ACP will be completed."

If you would like to follow Murphy on her journey, you can click here.