The Virginia Sierra Club reports: “Historic Event Today in Dominion Resources Accountability. Several protesters were arrested after blocking access to Dominon’s Corp HQ and energy futures trading floor. While Sierra Club did not participate in the civil disobedience, [Richmond Conservation Program Coordinator] Kendyl Crawford spoke at the demonstration.” Here’s some of what the speakers had to say.
“Today, this is about civil disobedience opposition to the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline…this is not the way to a sustainable future…Dominion basically has a monopoly in Virginia, and it actually recently pushed through legislation to make themselves have even more of a monopoly; they’re the largest non-party contributor to the Democratic and the Republican Party. Right now, pipelines are very much the front lines of climate justice. We’re out here saying that we don’t more entrenched fossil fuel infrastracture, we want renewable energy…this pipeline is the wrong way to go…we’re trying to encourage our legislators and our leaders to make the right decision and to not build this pipeline, [but instead] to invest in renewable energy for a sustainable future. The future is not about…all of the many risks associated with natural gas — pipeline explosions, toxic fracking, which is a huge threat to both air quality and water quality…”
“We have a moral obligation to act…Climate impacts are already being felt here in the Richmond area…The National Climate Assessment released last year announced that children, the elderly, the sick, the poor and some communities of color are the most at risk of the negative health impacts of climate change…the impacts of climate change are here today and they will intensify existing threats to health…We can not afford to let climate change amplify our health risks…African Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than Caucasians…Approximately 78% of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. Although coal is often hailed as being one of the most cost-effective energy solutions, this does not take into account all of the burdens that weigh down on the communities closest to the plants. Unfortunately, African Americans…end up suffering from increased rates of asthma, lost school and work days, not to mention lead exposure…Surely these expenses should be calculated as the true cost of our energy production. Which is why I am thrilled that just last year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the Clean Power Plan…the first-ever national limit on carbon pollution from our power plants…cutting carbon pollution will not only protect our public health, but our public safety as well.”