I think it comes down to this: as a former Air Board member, I’m disappointed in the Commonwealth’s decisions on the ACP, but I’m equally disappointed in the way that it’s making them. We got here because politics in the Commonwealth has walked right past those who speak on behalf of environmental justice. I would offer to our elected officials the following thought: if you cannot lead with environment and justice in this day and age, then you cannot lead at all. You cannot lead by ignoring or removing the voices of concern which speak on behalf of environmental justice. And you cannot lead by ignoring the state of our environment at large. The stage has already been set with a dying planet. We are all suffering. We need politics in this Commonwealth whether they’re left or right or center to begin by being honest about the collapse of the environment and what we can do about it. We need them to make morally informed decisions. I choose to think of tonight not as standing in opposition to something but as standing in favor of making a right decision. I choose to think of this not as opposition to power, because power need not be inherently wrong, but as standing up against the abuse of power. And I choose to think of this as supporting our fragile ecology and our increasingly devastated planet with all of our love and reverence.
P.S. At the time Rubin was dismissed, Del. Mark Keam wrote, “the decision by Governor Northam to fire appointees of the State Air Pollution Control Board who disagree with him right before they were about to vote on a major environmental racial justice issue is absolutely wrong, and there simply is no way to explain it away.”