Let’s not add to cli­mate prob­lems

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

EDITOR, TIMES-DIS­PATCH:

Do­min­ion and its part­ners seem hell-bent on get­ting the At­lantic Coast Pipe­line quickly ap­proved (“Do­min­ion, part­ners push for fast ap­proval of pipe­line plan”). If they “be­gin clear­ing trees in . . . Novem­ber” will the State Wa­ter Con­trol Board have heard the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Vir­ginia Department of En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity (DEQ)? Will Vir­ginia have a say in whether this project goes for­ward as pro­posed?

His­tory shows us that cor­po­ra­tions rarely, if ever, sel­f­reg­u­late for the greater good. Be­fore the EPA, we had rivers that reg­u­larly burned and city air that was opaque and deadly. The im­pacts of this pipe­line are po­ten­tially very se­ri­ous — for our wa­ter­ways, our in­dige­nous tribes, and for fu­ture cli­mate.

Re­cently, our coun­try faced a dou­ble whammy of mon­ster hur­ri­canes, triple-digit tem­per­a­tures on the West Coast, and dozens of wild­fires rag­ing in western states. This is not the time to be com­mit­ting to fos­sil fuel in­fra­struc­ture that will last “for gen­er­a­tions,” as stated on Do­min­ion’s web­site.

While it is true that nat­u­ral gas burns cleaner than coal (a low bar to pass), it is still pump­ing car­bon out of the ground and re­lo­cat­ing it to the at­mos­phere. We are al­ready ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­nat­u­rally in­tense nat­u­ral dis­as­ters due to cli­mate change. Let’s not add to them.

RE­BECCA MICHELSEN.

ASH­LAND.

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