A Moral Appeal to Gov. Terry McAuliffe Involving Two Days of Spirited, Creative Protests at Seven Key Offices Statewide to Stop Two Harmful Fracked-Gas Pipelines
Are you opposed to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines for fracked gas? Do you live near Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Richmond, Abingdon, Glen Allen, or Woodbridge? Then help us say “NO” to the pipelines.
CLICK HERE TO RSVP: Join hundreds of faith leaders, health experts, students, environmentalists, and other concerned citizens in your area as we rally, protest, and pray on September 13 and 14 for Gov. McAuliffe outside his seven statewide “Environmental Quality” offices.
Two days of protest September 13-14: What’s the plan?
Day 1: Wednesday, September 13th – Faith leaders and spiritual elders pray for McAuliffe at noon at all seven of DEQ’s offices throughout Virginia.
On day one, just after Hurricane Irma is expected to blow through our land, faith leaders and spiritual elders will hold prayer vigils on the public sidewalks outside the DEQ offices in Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Richmond, Abingdon, Glen Allen, or Woodbridge. We have interest from spiritual leaders of many faiths, including Christian, Muslim, and indigenous leaders who will offer prayers and meditations for the Governor as he makes a decision of historic consequences very soon. Some venues will include sacred and ancient water ceremonies. If you are a faith or spiritual leader, please click here if you would like to join the event closest to you on Sept 13. If you know of a faith leader who might be interested, please ask them to join the event. If you know indigenous leaders in your area who might be interested, do the same.
In a culminating appeal, Local citizens will attend lunchtime rallies on the public sidewalks outside the DEQ offices in Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Richmond, Abingdon, Glen Allen, or Woodbridge. Our top message: “Governor, we’ve been asking you for three years to do the right thing and reject these pipelines. Now we ask you to deeply reflect on your responsibility to protect human life and the environment, BEFORE deciding to harm our state and your legacy forever.” We expect scores of participants at each protest with key local leaders speaking to the issues. We’ll have banners and signs and invite local media. We’ll have a giant cardboard clock showing that time is running out.
Additionally, a group of peaceful community leaders led by farmers and landowners from across the state will sit silently in the office entrance in Richmond, for a time-honored act of dignified protest. If you deem these pipelines such a major threat that you’ve considered creative peaceful protest, the time is now. This will likely be your best and perhaps last chance to exercise your freedom of speech in this most powerful way BEFORE any final state decisions are made.
SO MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND PLEASE COME TO ONE OR BOTH OF THE EVENTS ON SEPT. 13-14. We need your help. We need your voice.
Background Information: Why do we need to do this? Because of the “PH3” trio.
Governor McAuliffe has embraced blatant double standards related to these fracked-gas pipelines. He has opposed drilling for fracked gas in Virginia because he thinks it’s a dangerous and unsafe drilling method for gas. Yet, by supporting the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines, he offers direct support for mass-scale fracking across vulnerable communities in West Virginia. The pipelines will be filled with fracked gas from that state, and the Governor knows it. The Governor also says new jobs are his top priority, yet he is killing jobs, lots of Virginia jobs, by embracing and prioritizing high-pollution, low-labor fracked gas over jobs-intensive wind and solar.
Enormous data confirms widespread health threats from fracking and from fracked-gas pipelines. John Hopkins University confirms that birth outcomes are negatively affected when women live near drilling rigs. And the massive MVP and ACP would cross porous “karst” rock formations a, threatening drinking water to farmers and communities across the state. Plus compressor stations for the pipelines will expose local communities to hazardous air pollution, including known carcinogens.
The Governor condemns President Trump on climate issues and supports the Paris Climate Accord. But despite embracing a cap on carbon pollution from Virginia power plants – a good thing – the Governor, by supporting the MVP and ACP, is triggering the greenhouse gas equivalent of building 46 coal-fired power plants in Virginia due to CO2 and methane lifecycle emissions. If these pipelines move forward, Gov. McAuliffe will forever be remembered as the governor who practically doomed that state’s long-term efforts to meet the Paris Accord while deepening climate chaos, coastal flooding and economic harm from global warming.
Note on the Clean Water Act and DEQ: Throughout the regulatory process for the pipelines so far, the DEQ has focused on mitigating the harm these pipelines will inevitably cause. But mitigation is not enough to meet Clean Water Act requirements. McAuliffe’s DEQ has completely excluded waterbody crossings from its analysis, despite warnings from DEQ’s own scientists that construction could permanently alter streams. The agency won’t even consider the companies’ plans to control erosion and sediment until after it has certified the projects. Finally, the agency will not subject the pipeline companies to needed stormwater management controls. Read this important letter from the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition to learn more about the DEQ’s flawed process.
Unless we act soon, Governor Terry McAuliffe and his controversial Department of Environmental Quality will likely give unthinkable state approval to two massive and destructive pipelines that would transport fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia. Spanning more than 1,000 miles, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines would take the tops off at least 38 miles of mountain ridges, seize private property across 19 Virginia counties, threaten drinking water all along the routes, and trigger global warming pollution equal to building 46 new coal-fired power plants. Yet Governor McAuliffe calls the pipelines “environmentally safe” and his DEQ office is ready to approve them despite widespread public alarm and opposition. The DEQ has utterly failed its legal responsibility to make energy companies Dominion Energy and EQT Midstream prove that water quality will be protected if these pipelines are built. The agency has misled the public about its process and, by segmenting its review, has excluded the public from meaningful participation. Despite this woefully inadequate process, the DEQ is now asking citizens to offer “comments” and attend “hearings” on the pipelines through August 22. We encourage citizens to participate in the hearings and deliver protest comments by declaring this public process a sham. Then, together, we must take the next step. Before the Governor and DEQ can make final recommendations in support of the pipelines (likely in October), the public must create its own historic comment process. We will do this in September, for three full days (Sept. 12-14), with a “People’s Pipeline Protest.” We’ll gather outside every DEQ office, in seven Virginia cities, and make our voices heard.
Our goal is to stop these pipelines by demanding — once again — that Governor McAuliffe simply exercise his legal authority and fulfill his duties under the Clean Water Act. The Governor and his DEQ have responsibility under this water-protection law to make companies prove that water quality standards will be met if the pipelines are built. But the DEQ has refused to do this. And the agency’s review of the harm that will result from crossing over a thousand Virginia streams and blasting away miles upon miles of steep mountain slopes is woefully incomplete. In short, McAuliffe and the DEQ have put their thumbs on the scale in favor of approving the pipelines, remaining irresponsibly tolerant of the public harm that will follow (see more on this above). The goal of our September protests is simply to ask the Governor to fulfill his responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. New York State has stopped two fracked-gas pipelines this way. And Terry McAuliffe must stop the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines now!