Letter: Sarah Richardson, Leesburg

Editor: The Loudoun County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors recently approved a permit application for upgrading a natural gas compressor station 10 miles south of Leesburg.

It is one of two recent permit requests to expand existing natural gas infrastructure in Loudoun County: the WB Xpress and the Eastern Market Access, projects that can transport more than a billion cubic feet per day of fracked gas from West Virginia and Pennsylvania, some for local use and some for overseas export.

I was dismayed to hear Supervisor Buffington remark that although he opposes such expansions, he would vote to ratify the permit out of concern that the company (Columbia Gas, now owned by Transcanada) would sue the county if the permit was denied, as it conformed to technical land use requirements. This pinhole vision, collectively, has gotten us to the state of the Earth where we are facing calamitous environmental collapse and extreme weather events that are exacerbated, if not instigated, by the continued reliance on burning fossil fuels that warm the atmosphere.

Follow the money. According to the Universal Ecological Fund’s September 2017 report “The Economic Case for Action on Climate Change:” “Economic losses from weather events influenced by human-induced climate change and health damages due to air pollution caused by fossil fuel energy production are currently causing an average of $240 billion a year—or about 40 percent of the current economic growth of the United States economy.” Oppose the NEW pipelines proposed to cross central Virginia—the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley pipeline. Call your legislators.

Stop them before they get started.

Sarah Richardson, Leesburg

One thought on “Letter: Sarah Richardson, Leesburg

  • 2017-10-13 at 9:25 am

    One step at a time… Natural gas is the next step from coal fired electric generation toward renewable sources. I believe that one of the tenants of the climate change accord is to use more natural gas instead of coal. Stopping the construction of these pipelines does not help the environment. It in fact prolongs the use of coal, since the remodeled generation facilities would not be able to move to the lower polluting gas. Even though solar and wind power has grown substantially in the US, it will still be a while before we can completely wean ourselves from using carbon-based fuels. For now, be thankful that there is an alternative to coal–natural gas–and that we have an abundance of it in the US.

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