Disgraceful decision by the Virginia Water Control Board, of course, but sadly not surprising given Dominion having “captured” our state’s regulatory agencies to their (nefarious) ends…ugh. [UPDATE: from what I hear, the decision was rushed, without proper information or expertise to make it, with TMac et al’s “fingers on the scale,” trying absurdly to “split the baby,” etc, etc. – utter disgrace, in other words] Also, Gov. McAuliffe has earned himself a permanent, unforgivable black mark against him for his incessant, outrageous, disgraceful cheerleading and constant repetition of Dominion’s false/b.s. talking points the past few years. Those of us who oppose these pipelines will neither forget nor forgive, that I can guarantee.
CCAN Condemns Decision by the Virginia Water Control Board to Approve the Controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline for Fracked Gas
Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Support for the MVP Pipeline Helps Doom Landowners While Dramatically Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Cementing the Governor’s Negative Legacy on the Environment
Statement from Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network:
“Terry McAuliffe has harmed farmers, consumers, drinking water, and the climate by pushing the Virginia Water Control Board to give final approval today of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The 301-mile pipeline for fracked gas constitutes a colossal misallocation of resources and will permanently harm the Governor’s economic and environmental legacies.
“Even as the on-the-ground evidence shows guaranteed harm to Virginia’s watersheds, and even as scientists sound the loudest possible warning bells on climate change, the Water Control Board gave the Governor what he asked for: a final build recommendation. This decision paves the way for the literal obliteration of mountain ridgetops, the clear-cutting of forests, and for massive trenching and tunneling across valleys for a pipeline that is not even needed and that serves only to enrich energy companies while hurting ratepayers.
“Governor McAuliffe made construction of the MVP pipeline a top priority of his term and his administration testified vigorously in support of the pipeline during the Water Board’s final two-day hearing this week.
“Our hope is that the Water Board, next week, will ignore the Governor’s similarly misguided support of a second gas pipeline – the Atlantic Coast Pipeline favored by controversial political donor Dominion Energy – when the Board votes on that pipeline next Tuesday.”
Thousands of Virginians have mobilized over the past three years to stand against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. See fact sheet here. Over 17,000 community members submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against the MVP during the public comment period, and over 53,000 people — including nearly 3400 Virginians — have signed on to a Change.org petition calling on Governor McAuliffe to reject the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. Activists have garnered opposition from all walks of life, from faith leaders to military veterans and more. The mobilization against the pipelines has also included civil disobedience, with 23 Virginians getting arrested outside the Governor’s mansion in 2016 and 19 arrested for barring the entrance to the Department of Environmental Quality office in Richmond this September.
UPDATE: CCAN adds, “Additional note: The Water Control Board voted 5-2 to approve the pipeline with an amendment that attempts to preserve its right to examine stream crossings at a later date. This is an unprecedented permitting process and it’s unclear whether or not the Board’s attempt to protect water quality will be effective.”