Home Energy and Environment CCAN Denounces McAuliffe Support for Dominion’s Massive ‘Atlantic Coast’ Fracked Gas Pipeline

CCAN Denounces McAuliffe Support for Dominion’s Massive ‘Atlantic Coast’ Fracked Gas Pipeline

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Utterly appalling by Terry McAuliffe, who this morning was doing his best Ken Cuccinelli impression. Gack. By the way, I hope/expect to hear every other environmental group in Virginia weighing in against this crap.

Mega-project, which already faces stiff resistance from Va. landowners, counteracts the governor’s commitment to tackling climate change
RICHMOND—Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe stood next to Dominion Resources CEO Thomas Farrell to announce his support for a major expansion of Dominion’s proposal to build a pipeline to carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia, across central Virginia, to North Carolina. Once called the “Reliability Project,” the new 550-mile, $5 billion proposal is now the joint-venture “Atlantic Coast” pipeline.
Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement in response:
“Today Governor McAuliffe has made a huge mistake that harms the environment. Barely two months after re-launching the state’s climate change commission, the governor has regretfully embraced a Dominion gas pipeline project that threatens to contribute significantly to the climate crisis. Tom Farrell’s 550-mile, $5 billion pipeline system would incentivize more fracking across the region and contribute to emissions of methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas which, according to growing scientific data, could disrupt the climate on par with coal. 
“In supporting this project, Governor McAuliffe is now complicit with Tom Farrell in locking Virginia into a multi-billion-dollar investment in more fossil fuels at a moment when scientists say we must be investing in truly carbon-free wind, solar, and energy efficiency technologies. We’ve come to expect this type of move from Dominion, the state’s top climate polluter and a company that has continually held Virginia back from serious commitments to clean energy. But we’re downright disappointed to see this from Governor McAuliffe.
“In making his announcement, Governor McAuliffe failed to mention the scientific data showing that methane, which leaks from fracking wells and pipelines, is as much as 87 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in heating the atmosphere over a 20-year period. The governor is lining up on the wrong side of farmers and landowners who live along Dominion’s proposed pipeline route and who see this project as a direct threat to their safety and livelihoods. The groundswell of grassroots resistance that Dominion is already facing will surely only grow in response to today’s news. 
“Given the urgency of tackling climate change, this is the wrong project at the wrong time. Instead of touting a massive investment in more communities destroyed by fracking wells, divided by pipelines, and wrecked by runaway climate change, Tom Farrell and Governor McAuliffe should be announcing a full-scale investment in Virginia's vast and barely tapped clean energy resources.”
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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the first grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to build and mobilize a powerful grassroots movement to call for state, national and international policies that will put us on a path to climate stability. Learn more atwww.chesapeakeclimate.org.
  • Statement of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Regarding Announcement of McAuliffe Administration

    Support for Dominion Natural Gas Pipeline

    “It is most disheartening that the very first major energy announcement coming from the McAuliffe Administration is in support Dominion’s natural gas pipeline to facilitate expanded fracking,” said Glen Besa, Virginia Director of the Sierra Club.

    “There are far more opportunities to create jobs and address climate change in Virginia through investments in energy efficiency, solar power and offshore wind. For example, this week is the one year anniversary of Dominion winning the right to develop offshore wind off the Virginia Coast.  We really need Governor McAuliffe to push Dominion to move forward on offshore wind,” said Besa.

    Governor McAuliffe,in making his first major energy announcement in support of fossil fuels, leaves the environmental community and clean energy industry in doubt about the direction of this Administration’s energy and climate policy, said Besa.

    “Governor McAuliffe faces a major challenge in meeting new EPA standards to reduce carbon pollution from fossil fuel power plants to address climate change. Today’s announcement is a step backward in meeting that challenge” said Besa.

  • These people are nothing if not greedy, stupid and ruthless.

    Chairman Mullins: Pipeline Project Shows Tom Steyer’s Investment in Terry McAuliffe Was for Naught

    RPV Chairman Pat Mullins issued the following statement:

    “Today’s announcement of a $5 billion natural gas pipeline is great news for Virginia. The project promises to bring jobs to our Commonwealth, help ensure electrical reliability, and help to bring more our country’s domestic resources into the energy market – resources newly made available through technological developments like fracking – to produce lower energy prices for all Virginians.”

    “But it also shows that environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer’s investment in Terry McAuliffe was for naught. Steyer who spent more than $1.6 million on Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for Governor. He and other radical environmentalists flocked to McAuliffe because the Democrat parroted the right lines about energy, refused to stand up for Southwest Virginia coal jobs, and unlike his Republican opponent, refused to promise to oppose EPA overreach.”

    “Given the Governor’s new-found interest in working with the energy sector, I’m forced to wonder if the environmental movement has a home in the Virginia Democrat party any more.”

  • See here:

    We are disappointed that the Governor pledged his support today for a major gas pipeline through Virginia’s forests, particularly in light of the potential impacts on the beloved George Washington National Forest, also known as the GW. Dominion’s proposed pipeline would traverse the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains through three counties (Highland, Augusta, and Nelson), as well as the Shenandoah Valley. It crosses prime recreational and biological areas in the national forest, including much of the best remaining wild landscape in Virginia. It is also proposed through one of Virginia’s most rugged landscapes, crossing numerous ridgelines over 3000 feet and raising serious questions about whether it can be built without significant damage to pristine forests and rivers.

    Given these potential impacts, the project has generated a chorus of citizen opposition throughout the state. Dominion has not publicly identified a customer in Highland, Nelson, and Augusta counties for the gas carried by the pipeline, and the project threatens the integrity of the region’s public lands and communities with few, if any, apparent long-term economic benefits.

    In the past, Governor McAuliffe has voiced strong support for protecting the GW from other industrial development in the form of shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In light of the expected damaging impacts of the proposed pipeline, we urge the Governor to keep his pledge to the citizens of the Commonwealth to protect the GW, a treasured natural resource that hosts more than a million visitors annually and anchors a vital, agriculture and tourism-based economy for the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding communities.