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Opinion/Letter: Governor ignores pipeline dangers

Opinion/Letter: Governor ignores pipeline dangers

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What is it about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline that Gov. Ralph Northam doesn’t understand?

Is it the present and future water pollution problems caused by forcing chemicals into the crust of the earth, in the process of fracking, to release the gases these pipelines are supposed to carry? Frackers can choose from any of nearly 700 different chemicals.

The earth is a sensitive system of underground conduits. These chemicals will someday reappear somewhere and cause untold hardship on our children or our children’s children.

Does the governor not understand the cutting and clearing of a swath some 300 miles long through our Virginia forests and fields, and the killing of countless fish and other aquatic life every time these pipelines are dug across the streams and rivers in their paths?

What else does he not understand? Is it the leakage and attendant harm to the atmosphere of an estimated 91 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from the production and transmission of fracked gas from West Virginia gas fields?

Is it the possibility of natural gas explosions resulting in the death of real people and the destruction of property? The pain and expense any such explosion would inflict on fellow citizens who are unfortunate enough to be forced to live near these pipelines is unconscionable.

Is it the siting of the 53,000-horsepower compressor station in an African-American community in Buckingham County? Who will stand up and speak for the people there — defending their right to live in a community free from noise and air pollution and the risk of gas explosions — if not the governor? 

People of color and the economically disadvantaged are still bullied into carrying a disproportionate load when it comes to siting this type of infrastructure. The governor must know this. He must be their voice.

The pipelines will hasten sea level rise on eastern Virginian properties, including the governor’s waterside family farm on the Chesapeake Bay. 

We elected Gov. Northam to guide us into a better future — not lead us backward into a more polluted world.

Clean air, clean water. What about this doesn’t he understand?

Scott Ziemer

Albemarle County

References: , pages 3-6

Tables 1 and 2, page 32 , page 2.7, Table2.1.2-1

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