RICHMOND, Va. – Opponents of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposal to install national gas pipelines through the state announced Thursday they will hold a three-day protest to deter the current administration from going forth with the decision.
Spearheaded by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the “People’s Pipeline Protest” will take place from September 12-14 at all seven of McAuliffe’s Department of Environmental Quality offices. The protests will be focused on stopping the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.
Activists are asking the governor to reject the water permits needed by pipeline companies, which include Dominion Energy, saying the fracked gas would cause the destruction of mountain ridgetops, infringe on citizens’ property rights and harm valuable water resources.
CCAN cites New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2016 direction of the Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the water permits for a similar fracked-gas pipeline, the Constitution Pipeline, stating that the pipeline developers did not sufficiently demonstrate that the pipeline would comply with New York State water quality standards. This decision was upheld in federal court, and CCAN says that Governor McAuliffe has the authority to do the same in Virginia.
The protest comes on the heels of the heated debate over the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016.
A tentative schedule for the protest include rallies, a day of prayer led by clergy and a sit-in.
The DEQ has offices in Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Harrisonburg, Abingdon, Woodbridge and Glen Allen.