Together Virginia Statement on Pipelines
Land and clean water mean something to every Virginian, no matter where you live. The land and the water around us provide a living for people, homes and jobs and opportunities to enjoy all that our beautiful environment has to offer.
Our land is our home. We make our own histories in our homes with our children and grandchildren. We know how much that history means to families—it is much more than just the monetary value. When we hear from folks that have been or will be impacted by the two large pipelines which the Federal Energy Commission (FERC) has approved to traverse Virginia, we truly understand how heart-wrenching this is for them because it will forever change what they know of their homes.
Together Virginia’s mission is to connect rural and urban Virginia. We see Virginia as one Commonwealth. We offer our full support to a government that works to protect our water and ensures that it will be clean and available to every future generation. We also support a stance that is empathetic to our neighbors who feel powerless with the threat of eminent domain and the reality of the disruption of their lives and the despoilment of their homes and of our landscape. We ask that any financial gains be fairly weighed against what these and all Virginians are losing.
If it turns out that the FERC action to approve the pipelines cannot be reversed, it is still true that our Virginia state government has a vital role to play in areas related to private property and local environmental quality. Together Virginia supports utilizing every legal means possible to exercise these state powers to their fullest extent.
Together Virginia wants to be sure that the VA Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)’s continued regulatory oversight of these pipelines is rigorous, transparent and based in science. We have supported and will continue to support Democratic candidates who favor making our DEQ standards more stringent, and who will make sure that Virginia has the best laws on the books to protect our cherished environment, our wells and our property rights. We feel that every Democratic candidate, whether they are running in the election this November or in future elections will benefit from the trust that is built by seeing government work for all people.
Our Governor, Ralph Northam, is a native Virginian, environmentalist, and fisherman. With that background, we know he shares our reverence for property rights and clean water. We want to work with him to support these goals, continuing to leverage the state’s authority to protect these cherished resources.
Given his background as an environmentalist, we urge Governor Northam to:
- Direct VA DEQ to conduct a stream-by-stream impact analysis of each unique water crossing for both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines as also requested by Delegates Alfonso Lopez, Rip Sullivan, Mark Levine, David Bulova, Wendy Gooditis, Debra Rodman, Marcus Simon, Elizabeth Guzman, Dawn Adams, Lee Carter, Kathy Tran, Sam Rasoul, Danica Roem, Chris Hurst, Mark Keam, Jennifer Carrol Foy, Kathleen Murphy, Hala Ayala, Kaye Kory, and Patrick Hope in their April 17, 2018 letter to you;
- Strengthen DEQ and SCC oversight of the state electric utilities.
We urge all Virginians to stand together, neighbor to neighbor and support each other and offer each other the strength of working together as one Commonwealth. We ask our government to lead us in this endeavor and work to support and help every Virginian and to protect the beauty of our environment for every future generation.