Northam’s waf­fling over pipe­lines dis­rupts process

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -


In his re­cent col­umn, “Northam stum­bles over the de­tails,” Jeff Schapiro lays out the po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences of Gov. Ralph Northam’s “squishy” waf­fling over the pro­posed gas pipe­lines dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign. The lat­est man­i­fes­ta­tion of that is the gover­nor’s de­ci­sion to abruptly dis­miss two mem­bers of the Air Pol­lu­tion Control Board right be­fore an im­por­tant vote.

I was one of the Vir­gini­ans who fell for can­di­date Northam’s cam­paign schtick. I met him. I felt as­sured and be­lieved he was a good man — a pe­di­a­tri­cian and an ad­vo­cate for chil­dren — who would do the right thing when faced with dif­fi­cult choices.

In­stead, Northam acts as though he would rather pro­tect for­mer Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s pet pro­ject and cre­ate prof­its for big busi­ness at the ex­pense of the air qual­ity breathed by Vir­ginia chil­dren in Buck­ing­ham County.

Ac­cord­ing to its char­ter, the Air Pol­lu­tion Control Board is tasked with “an­a­lyz­ing air-re­lated is­sues in­volv­ing health, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, and qual­ity of life.” It is sup­posed to be com­posed of well-in­formed, neu­tral par­ties from across the state who de­ter­mine en­vi­ron­men­tal well-be­ing for vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens. The gover­nor’s in­ter­fer­ence dis­rupts that process. Re­becca Rubin and Sa­muel Ble­icher de­serve to vote when the board meets De­cem­ber 10.


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