The New River Valley Greens have endorsed a call for the rejection of new permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), along with around 100 other organizations. The New River Valley Greens have long opposed this project and the devastation it has brought to the New River Valley.
Dear Delegate Hurst and Supervisor Biggs,
The New River Valley Green Party is shocked and disappointed to hear that you have endorsed former Gov. Terry McAuliffe to become the next Governor of Virginia. During his time as Governor, McAuliffe was a heavy supporter of the Mountain Valley (MVP) and Atlantic Coast pipelines (ACP). His decision in 2014 to back the pipelines has led to immense suffering across rural Virginia, especially here in the Southwest. Local landowners have told us about the devastation wrought by the MVP. We have watched as the company behind the MVP has destroyed farm land, forcibly taken land without fair compensation, threatened endangered species, irresponsibly sought to cut corners with state and federal permitting, polluted our water with chemicals and sediment, risked explosion and leakage, and ruined the peace of mind of thousands of residents.
In conversations with you, in your actions, in your statements, and in your campaigns you seemed to grasp the seriousness of this threat.
Delegate Hurst, you campaigned in 2017 and 2019 on your opposition to the pipelines. On March 18, 2019, you send a letter to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) which called for an immediate “stop work” order on pipeline construction. In this letter, you said, “I applauded the efforts [during the 2018 Legislative Session] to enact emergency legislation to address concerns the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines would potentially harm existing stormwater management and erosion and sedimentation control laws…Unfortunately, the landowners in my district and many others cannot continue to guess what it will take for a reasonable stop work order for the Mountain Valley pipeline project.” You went on, “Clearly there is evidence of violations and a lack of seriousness on the part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC…What remains unclear is a lack of action to enforce these laws today.”
Supervisor Biggs, you signed, along with your colleagues on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, a resolution explicitly condemning the MVP in Montgomery County, That resolution resolved the following, “that the Board of Supervisors hereby oppose the proposed route of the Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline…because of the proposed route’s adverse impacts on developed residences in the Brush Mountain Estates and Preston Forest Subdivisions within the proposed corridor and on the scenic, recreational and sensitive environmental areas in Montgomery County and that these adverse impacts to the County of Montgomery far outweigh any economic benefit the County might receive from the construction of the pipeline.”
Despite these correct and much-needed statements, you have endorsed former Gov. McAuliffe, the politician most directly responsible for the MVP. This endorsement is inconsistent with your track records as opponents of the pipeline and makes it difficult for our organization to provide support for your candidacies in the future.
The New River Valley Green Party
The New River Valley Greens are busy making the case for ranked-choice voting. We are talking to Boards of Supervisors in Patrick, Giles, Floyd, and Montgomery to have them adopt RCV under a new bill passed by the General Assembly. The bill allows cities and counties to adopt an RCV pilot program for local elections. If you’d like to join us in this effort, we need folks to contact their local representatives and write letters to the editor to local papers. We can help provide templates, talking points, and so on. Just reach out!
In honor of LGBT Pride Month this June, the New River Valley Greens
(NRVG) will ask local officials and businesses to sign statements supporting LGBT rights in Virginia. The statements, created by the non-partisan advocacy group Equality Virginia, are in support of much-needed anti-discrimination housing and employment laws. If you wish to join us in this effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, we attended the yearly Juneteenth event put on by the local branch of the NAACP at the Rosa L. Peters park in Christiansburg. As usual, we had a great time and the weather was beautiful!
The New River Valley Greens were happy to attend the annual Food Truck Rodeo on April 28, 2019! We met some wonderful people and enjoyed the fantastic food provided by local vendors. We also got to show off our solar panel and battery pack. The future is here and it is Green!
Green Party of Virginia General Secretary Dr. Becker Smith spoke to students on March 26, 2019 about climate change and the possibility of a post-capitalist world. You can find the full talk on the Green Party of Virginia youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dSowDIFqUk
The Green Party is organized around Four Pillars – Grassroots Democracy, Peace, Social Justice, and Ecological Wisdom. These basic moral and political understandings are the foundation of our platform and actions. They are simple ideas!
Grassroots Democracy – The world is a better place when power is shared among more people! We call for more political participation, getting money out of politics, worker cooperatives, and ending gerrymandering. These would all broaden the base of power in America.
Peace – While we are not Pacifists, we believe strongly that our foreign policy should not be based on endless, pointless wars. Often, violence we commit overseas comes back to haunt us. We need to bring our troops home and address gun violence domestically.
Social Justice – We believe that everyone should have a basic standard of living from which they can prosper. This means universal healthcare and universal higher education. We believe in racial and gender equality.
Ecological Wisdom – Our Environment is the basis for our survival. We need to protect it if we want to live. We oppose fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines and instead work to transition our economy to stable, renewable energy jobs.
The Green Party of Virginia’s statement on both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
Green Party Condemns Pipelines
Calls for Renewable Energy, Clean Water, and Clean Air
It is a simple matter of biology that humans need clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. We need a secure home to raise our children. We rely on climatic 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 climatic 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 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 living 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 gases 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 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.
The New River Valley Greens had an amazing time at Steppin’ Out 2018! We spoke with hundreds of citizens about their needs and concerns. Many were deeply concerned about the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and its negative impacts on their drinking water. We were excited to hear the good news that the pipeline is stopped, for now, but we won’t rest until this project is gone for good.
If you missed us during Steppin’ Out , you can catch us at our next meeting on Tuesday, August 14 at 6:00 p.m. at the Blacksburg Public Library. Hope to see you all there!