PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

We are at a crossroads. Our planet is at risk, and we are not taking sufficient care of it. There is now scientific consensus that our recklessness is threatening our children's future and things are quickly getting away from us. The world is rapidly transitioning to renewable energies, but instead of taking the lead, America is making empty promises about going back to coal and building fracked gas pipelines that will be obsolete in under a decade. Renewable energies are cheaper and cleaner. They will save us money and preserve this planet for generations to come.

In Virginia, Dominion Energy is the single largest corporate donor to state politicians, so it is not surprising that the political establishment is mostly ignoring our environmental and energy crisis. While scientists are issuing dire warnings and other countries are investing in cheap, clean renewable energies, the Commonwealth is focused on building fossil fuel infrastructure. The Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines represent everything that is wrong with Virginia politics. To be clear, there is no need for these pipelines. None. The companies building them will be selling the gas for a profit to their own subsidiaries or to companies overseas. Meanwhile, consumers will be left with the bill.

Here in the heart of the 59th District is a neighborhood called Union Hill in Buckingham County. It was founded by freedmen after the Civil War. Descendants of the freedman still live there today. This neighborhood is where Dominion is trying to build a massive, loud, toxic compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion initially was going to try to build the compressor station on U.S. Forest Land, but it was deemed too toxic for the wildlife living there. To then move the proposed site to Union Hill was simply unconscionable.

We need to advocate for environmental justice here in the 59th. With a grassroots effort rising from the people of this district, we are going to hold corporations and the political establishment accountable. Dominion may have tried to choose the path of least resistance. If so, they were wrong. The people here in the 59th will stand up for our children, our land, and our values. As a Delegate, I certainly will.