See below for two videos from yesterday’s “Ask the Governor” show with Ralph Northam on WTOP news radio. First, I’ve pulled out the back-and-forth on the pipelines. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Second, I’ve posted the entire “Ask the Governor” show, which covers topics ranging from the neo-Nazis/white nationalists’ pathetic rally a couple weeks ago (I have serious doubts about Virginia’s response to this situation, both last year and this year); redistricting (I generally agree with Northam’s approach on this one); how to use the extra money from the Trump/GOP tax cuts for rich people (I strongly agree with the idea of helping working families with part of the money and using the rest to invest in important things like broadband, teacher salaries, workforce training, etc.); the Equal Rights Amendment (I agree with Northam that it should be ratified); the egregious abuses that apparently occurred at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center (I don’t agree with Northam or the state’s apparent whitewash on this one at all); the pipelines (I’ll get to that one in a minute); criminal justice reform (I generally agree with Northam on this one); the SOLs (I’m not a big fan of “teaching to the test” or judging students/teachers/schools by SOL scores); and people who are going to be displaced from their homes by I-66 expansion (I’m with Del. Mark Keam, who wrote on his Facebook page, “I’m glad that the Governor and Secretary are now personally engaged and I hope to see some quick actions soon. However, I’m still angry that it had to take my constituents going to the press in order for our government agency to do its job. Things shouldn’t be this way, and I certainly hope that all levels of our governments rededicate themselves to doing their jobs properly.”).
Now, regarding the pipelines segment…first of all, I’ve been very critical of WTOP in the past on this, specifically their failure to ask tough questions about this important issue, but yesterday let me just make clear that WTOP did a GREAT job, asking tough questions and followups to Gov. Northam. Thank you WTOP!
As for Northam’s (non) answers, they were as ridiculous, lame, misleading, false, deceptive, etc. as ever. For instance, Northam keeps claiming – despite massive problems so far – that these pipelines are being done “environmentally safe [sic],” that “the work has stopped on both pipelines” (that’s not my understanding at all); that “this is the most rigorous oversight that has ever been done in a Virginia project” (to the extent that’s the case, and I doubt it is, that’s pathetic); that “if we see that there are erosion and sediment situations at these streams, the work will be shut down” (really? there have been MANY instances of erosion and sediment situations, yet work was NOT shut down at most of them – is Northam simply clueless or is he lying?); that “they’re doing what’s in the best interests of Virginia environmentally” (that’s got to be some sort of weird/sick joke; WTF??? how can building massive fracked-gas pipelines be “in the best interests of Virginia ENVIRONMENTALLY???); and that he won’t be making changes at the State Water Control Board or at the Department of Environmental Quality “until this process is resolved” because, supposedly, it wouldn’t be “fair” to do so (“fair” to whom? Dominion? EQT? what a joke!). In sum, either Northam has minimal if any clue what’s actually going on with these pipelines, or he’s just spouting off Dominion/LiUNA/EQT talking points, or…I don’t know, any other ideas what the hell he’s doing on this???