Letter: Natalie Pien, Leesburg

Editor:   I predict that one part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s legacy will be far reaching, in both time and space. It will impact not only Virginians living today, but citizens all around the world for generations to come. To be sure, Gov. Northam must be commended for outstanding accomplishments: Medicare Expansion; Metro funding; raising the legal threshold for felony larceny. Millions of Virginians will benefit.

None of this, however, will matter. Gov. Northam has failed to act within his authority to block two unneeded, fracked gas, fossil fuel transporting pipelines, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. These pipelines that cut through beautiful, rural central Virginia will exacerbate climate change, which negatively affect every social concern from national security to food security to health security to (im)migration security. Completing the ACP and MVP will result in global warming carbon pollution equivalent to 46 coal fired power plants, totaling 120 metric tons of carbon emitted per year for the next 40 years. That’s 12 times more than the annual carbon reduction proposed in the Governor’s Energy Plan.

Ominously, the October Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have 12 short years to take bold, unprecedented steps to stop greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the recently released fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment reports that climate change is here, expensive, and deadly; but the worse impacts can be avoided if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. The message is clear. Building new, fossil fuel pipelines to be in service for over 40 years is wrong.

Gov. Northam’s legacy can be different if he chooses to stop the pipelines. He can heed of any one of the following:

  1. “Do no harm,” Hippocratic Oath.
  2. “Too dangerous, too dirty,” Physicians for Social Responsibility re: fracked gas pipelines.
  3. “Stop work on the ACP and MVP,” VA NAACP President.
  4. “Stop work on the ACP and MVP,” Gov’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.
  5. The ACP “is not in the public interest,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur dissent statement.
  6. “The ACP is more expensive than using existing pipelines,” Thomas Hadwin, former electric and gas utilities regulations compliance executive.

Gov. Northam, what will your pipeline legacy be? Will you put people and planet above corporate (Dominion Power) profit? It’s not too late to do the right thing. Stop the pipelines.

Natalie Pien, Leesburg

2 thoughts on “Letter: Natalie Pien, Leesburg

  • 2018-12-06 at 10:43 am

    Apparently raising the cost of everyone’s energy is not a concern of yours. Well, we may be one of the wealthiest counties in the world but the cost of energy will impact the lives of everyone of us even if you are okay with making it a luxury good. You seem happy with making it harder for working people to put food on the table and take care of their families for the chimera of a fossil fuel free world. I suggest you stop buying food today, stop operating your cart and permanently turn off all your electronics and then if you have surgery scheduled for you or a loved one pray (oh, I forgot you probably don’t do that as it is evil or something) that the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. Then, give up your clothes and move into a cave as there is literally nothing in our modern lives that happens without the blessing of fossil fuels, but at least you want to save the world and are more virtuous than everyone else.
    Your selfish hypocrisy is not based on science but on preening foolishness. Without C02 we are all dead and when you can figure out the perfect temperature for the earth I’d love for you to explain it to us all, scientifically and morally. After 30 years of claiming the earth is dying where is your evidence? It appears you just want to take money out of everyone’s pocket while you pat yourself on the back. Narrow self interest disguised as virtue is your great legacy. Live without inexpensive energy for a while and then come back to us and tell us how wonderful it is. Until then I would think you ought to thank your neighbors who build the pipelines and the electric lines that fuel your life. And yes they do it for a profit because if they didn’t they would eventually be slaves.

  • 2018-12-06 at 6:32 pm

    Again and again, environmentalists get stabbed in the back by Democrats and yet you foolishly continue to support them in every election. Until there is a very real “green” party, the Establishment Democrats will continue to take your money and your vote and enrich themselves.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 4,456,645 times, shame on me.

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