It is a simple matter of biology that humans need clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. We crave a home connected to a broader community through ties of history. We rely on climactic stability to produce the crops which sustain modern civilization. Yet shortsighted forces in Washington, Richmond, and private industry have threatened all of these with the construction of two interstate natural gas pipelines, the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). It is to protect the air and water we need, the homes and landscapes we love, and the climactic stability our children deserve that the Green Party of Virginia unequivocally opposes these pipelines.
We oppose these pipelines in the first place because taken together they will destroy the water and air of thousands of people living in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The construction process of both pipelines will result in tons of sediment being dumped into rivers that feed municipal water supplies. As the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates, pipelines will often leak. This results in thousands of tons of liquid natural gas and toxic chemicals entering our water supply. Meanwhile, compressor stations along the pipeline route will emit yet more toxins into our air. Those living near compressor stations already experience a much higher incidence of respiratory and dermatological illnesses. It is simply unconscionable that the politicians elected to protect us are permitting this wholesale violation of our health.
We further oppose both the MVP and the ACP on the grounds that they destroy the homes and communities of thousands. Our members have met personally with dozens of people who are forced to sacrifice their family land for the private gain of a few. We have met people who have lived in the same home and farmed the same fields for six or seven generations. Now, with irresponsible permission to take these lands by eminent domain, these pipeline companies are ripping people from their ancestral homes.
We oppose these projects, finally, because of their threat to our children and to vulnerable peoples around the world. Climate Change is a real and serious threat that humanity is largely responsible for creating. Our emissions of Carbon Dioxide and Methane into the atmosphere have threatened the continued ability of our farmers to grow their crops. It has threatened the water supplies of millions of people from California to South Africa. It has increased the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Now, at a time when the world must band together to stop this existential crisis, our governor, our legislators, and our judges are wantonly leaving our children with an uncertain future. These projects will vastly increase the carbon footprint of Virginia alone, releasing thousands of tons of Carbon dioxide, Methane, and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Permitting the construction of these projects is a craven assassination of future generations.
No amount of money will ever compensate those whose homes are being taken; no amount of empty promises will satiate the thirst of those who will have no water.; no amount of amount of corporate profits will restore peace of mind to those who will be forever shaken. Virginians deserve better than this. They deserve clean, efficient renewable energy, peace and security in their homes, and hope that the lives of their children will be better than their own. Greens fight for these values everyday, and it is on the basis of these values that we condemn all those – Democrat or Republican, Corporate or Government – that are promoting these pipelines.