From the CCAN Action Fund:
Climate Activists Thrown Out of Gubernatorial Debate. Episode Highlights Growing Political Need to Discuss Mountain Valley Pipeline and Fossil Fuels in Virginia
Watch these videos. CCAN Statement
FAIRFAX, VA – Last night, two Virginia voters were kicked out of the Virginia Governors’ debate seemingly for wearing activism-themed t-shirts. While 20 people rallied outside the debate to protest the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Jolene Mafnas (Food and Water Action) and Tiziana Bottino (Mothers Out Front) entered with their $150 tickets to attend the debate, hoping to hear about the stances from the candidates about new fossil fuel systems like the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Instead, they were kicked out before the debate even began.
“I wanted to hear whether the governors were going to address climate change, which is being brushed off, and whether the Mountain Valley Pipeline is going to be addressed. Because they never talk about it and it’s destroying lives in southwest Virginia,” said Bottino. At the debate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe said he would be a “clean energy governor” but did not clarify a position on the MVP or other fossil fuel infrastructure. His Climate and Clean Energy Plan also does not mention pipelines. Meanwhile, candidate Glenn Youngkin advocated to roll back some of the existing standards won through the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
STATEMENT FROM MIKE TIDWELL, DIRECTOR OF CCAN ACTION FUND:
“We can’t help but see this as emblematic of the state’s inability to fully oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline while it pivots to clean energy. This pipeline and fossil fuel infrastructure in general stand in opposition to Virginia’s flagship climate policy and the vital transition to renewable energy. We call on former Governor Terry McAuliffe and candidate Glenn Youngkin to fully open the debate on Virginia’s climate future while joining us in condemning the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”
Since its proposal in 2013, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been under construction and under contention. It will emit the equivalent pollution of over twenty coal fired power plants and the Environmental Protection Agency recently recommended against granting MVP a key permit.
The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit www.chesapeakeclimate.org