by Morris Meyer
350.org founder and climate champion Bill McKibben writes in the November 22 edition of the New York Review of Books:
“[S]cientists have once again shown that they can agree on a broad and workable summary of our peril and deliver it in language that, while clunky, is clear enough that headline writers can make sense of it…The problem is that action never follows: the scientists do their job, but even the politicians not controlled by the fossil fuel industry tend to punt or to propose small-bore changes too slow and cautious to make much difference…We’re running out of options, and we’re running out of decades. Over and over we’ve gotten scientific wake-up calls, and over and over we’ve hit the snooze button. If we keep doing that, climate change will no longer be a problem, because calling something a problem implies there’s still a solution.”
Climate change is devastating California now, Puerto Rico last season, and we are out of time for half measures. When fire tornadoes are a new form of weather, we know that Mother Nature is giving us a loud warning signal that our only home is in clear danger.
With that in mind, we face a primary this Saturday for Virginia’s Senate District 33, which has been held by Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton, and only one candidate has pledged to not take corporate PAC or fossil fuel donations.
Why does this matter? Because Dominion Energy, based here in Virginia, is one of the planet’s top 100 carbon polluters and is essentially working as Virginia’s fourth branch of government. Dominion lied to our legislators that they would build 5,500 MW of solar over 10 years and have told their shareholders that they only plan to build 240 MW over the next three years.
Dominion is forcing ratepayers to pay $12 billion for two fracked natural gas pipelines that are completely unnecessary, and they have admitted that they are doing this for their shareholders. At a recent town hall in Union Hill, Dominion told residents they had no idea how large the blast zone would be in their community.
Those two pipelines, over 30 years, will emit the greenhouse gas equivalent of 45 new coal-fired power plants, thus utterly blotting out any of the actions from Governor Northam’s climate plan. Do you think it is ethical to take contributions from a corporation that prejudices shareholders and corporate profits over the safety of our communities and the health of our planet?
I have asked Delegate Jennfer Boysko three times to take the Activate Virginia pledge (to refuse contributions from Dominion and Appalachian Power) that almost all of the new Delegates took in 2017. I was told by Boysko that “I can take their money and vote against them.”
Given that Clean Virginia is providing funds to match Dominion’s donations, this comment by Boysko is a clear signal that she would prefer to be a part of Dick Saslaw’s dirty Dominion money machine, rather than maintaining independence as our elected representative.