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Video: Ralph Northam Promises Focus Groups to “Put Our Heads Together” on Proposed Pipelines. OK, but…


In the following video (nice work by Cville Rising this morning), it’s good to hear that Ralph Northam is willing to sit down with Virginians opposed to Dominion’s proposed fracked-gas pipelines (Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley), but…you knew there was going to be a “but,” huh? 😉 Well, yeah, there’s “but,” and it’s that, although Northam’s correct that this is an interstate project, the fact is – as the Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Conservation Network, Shenandoah Valley Network and many other environmental groups (including two groups – the Virginia LCV and Virginia Sierra Club – which have endorsed Northam) explain in this June 29, 2017 letter – “Virginia has broad authority to conduct its own analysis under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act,” and the state should “use the full scope of its authority to assess the impacts” of these pipelines before even thinking about signing off. “Specifically, we request that [the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality – DEQ] require individual 401 certification review for wetland and stream crossings, rather than relying on the Army Corps of Engineers,” and also demand “all information necessary for DEQ review” from the pipeline developers. Topics for discussion in the “focus groups” Ralph Northam’s promised, I’d say…

P.S. See full letter from enviro groups below the video.

  • C Pruett

    This is a step in the right direction but why not a public meeting with cameras on?

  • Sharon Ponton, a Nelson County resident who has been fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for 3 years, says:

    “It’s BS…disempowering to the people and he can claim he tried to work with pipeline opponents. Dominion has used the same tactic with its Community Advisory groups. Claims to be working with communities but in the end allows them to choose paint colors for buildings, or the height of a fence.”

    • Guest

      So I guess they should just keep attacking Northram until we can be assured of a Gilliespie win and more pipelines? This logic makes no sense to me. If the guy is trying to come around to your opinion why not give him space to do it? Or accept that whoever wins the Governorship you will get pipelines.

  • ThereisJustUs

    There we go. He’s making progress. I imagine the other interview was him giving the affirmative to a former ally who is a staunch advocate of it and wants some reassurance for the ‘pro-business’ Republicans who might vote for Northam (as they did when he ran for Lt. Gov).

  • Janice Lynne Wilson Fischer

    Sorry, but this is not up for discussion. The proposed pipeline is destructive, invasive, totally unnecessary and unwanted. The only benefit will be to Dominion shareholders (and I doubt the pipeline is going through their property). It will severely damage our tourist industry and adversely affect the lives of residents in its path.

    • I’m all for a brainstorming session…on the best ways to STOP these stupid pipelines!

  • Jennifer Lewis

    I will not vote for Ralph if he continues to be blind to the facts about these pipelines. He could even get the no pipeline Republicans to vote for him if he came out and admitted to being wrong and decided to stand with landowners and the environment and be against these disastrous projects.

  • dirich

    It’s not the “Virginia Way” to be transparent. Yes, let’s have public meetings so we can see and hear exactly what is being said and where politicians stand.

  • scottski

    There are more jobs, and more benefits to Virginia by pursuing renewable energy.

    • Yep, by orders of magnitude at that…

  • MLS

    We need a leader who will stand up and make VDEQ do an independent review of these pipelines under the Clean Water Act before any pipe hits dirt.