Home Energy and Environment Who’s Better on the Pipelines: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) or Fossil Fuel...

Who’s Better on the Pipelines: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) or Fossil Fuel Industry Tool/Climate Science Denier Rep. Morgan Griffith (R)?

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You’d think that the answer to the question posed in the title would be an easy one, but…nope. In fact, check out what fossil fuel industry tool, climate science denier and hard-right Rep. Morgan Griffith has had to say about the fracked-gas pipelines being rammed through Virginia.

  • On June 7, 2017, a press release from Sen. Mark Warner stated that “Tim Kaine and Mark Warner will introduce legislation to strengthen the public’s ability to evaluate the impacts of natural gas pipelines being considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” and that “U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith will introduce similar legislation in the House.” 
  • On June 13, 2017, a press release from Rep. Griffith stated, “Today, Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced the ‘Pipeline Fairness and Transparency Act‘…Knowing the long-term impacts of these projects, we must ensure that the right processes are in place so the public can more thoroughly evaluate the effects of a proposed pipeline, and opportunities for engagement should be a priority.  This legislation is an important step to ensure that local concerns are addressed, particularly when easements on and takings of private lands for private infrastructure are a possibility.”
  • On January 19, 2018, Rep. Griffith wrote to the Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), stating, “I have concerns about the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which does go through my district,” and which forwards a letter by Sen. Tim Kaine requesting that FERC grant “rehearings” on the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline petitions.
  • In the revised/whitewashed Bluefield Daily Telegraph article, Rep. Griffith is quoted as saying this past Friday: “After the ruling by a federal appeals court vacating permits to construct the Mountain Valley Pipeline through the Jefferson National Forest, FERC’s decision to stop work on MVP is appropriate. If the pipeline cannot be constructed through the forest, it does not make sense to proceed with disturbing other people’s lands that may never connect to a pipeline.”
  • And now, in contrast, here’s Gov. Northam. In the original, non-revised/whitewashed Bluefield Daily Telegraph article* (now completely removed, but which I wrote about here), Northam was quoted as follows: “I am supportive of moving forward (with the MVP)…We need energy, but we need energy responsibly…All along the pipeline they need to be conscious of the land and take people’s property rights into account…Any compliance issue … we are looking and watching the streams and the rivers closely.” Also: “Northam said he understands the problems associated with the pipeline, including landowner rights and the recent rain and flooding that have dumped ‘too much sediment into waterways.’”

So yeah, believe it or not, it really does seem to be the case that when it comes to the pipelines, a far-right, climate-science-denying, fossil fuel industry tool is better than the Democratic governor of Virginia. The hell???

*I wrote to the author of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph article, asking him why it had been taken down and replaced with a dramatically different article. His response was:

The story was changed to reflect a clarification from Gov. Northam’s office. While he has confidence that any pipeline that is built will meet all the federal and state regulations and he supports the process in place, he said he has not expressed support directly for the pipelines, but he has not opposed them either. However, he said if the are constructed he is convinced they will be installed properly.

During the interview, I interpreted a statement he made directly related to the MVP that he was supportive of moving forward with it because we need energy, just that we need it responsibly, as referring to the MVP.

He said he meant he was supportive of the regulatory process.

UPDATE: Here’s the original article.