Delegates Hold Press Conference

Live video from Chesapeake Climate Action Network at the April 25, 2018, press conference and protest in Richmond. Thanks to Delegate Mark Keam (D-Fairfax) for organizing the event, and for all the Delegates and Senators who came and spoke out against the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines, demanding a stream-by-stream review and asking that food and water be given to all tree sitters.

The press conference, held immediately before the assembly reconvened in its annual veto session, included lawmakers from parts of the state not affected by either proposed pipeline. Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William, was among a group of Northern Virginia Democrats joining the protest, dismissing what she called “NOVA versus ROVA [Rest of Virginia] BS. It is our obligation to stand with them,” Roem said.

“Let me be clear,” said Blacksburg Delegate Chris Hurst. “It should not be up to landowners, who have already had their land taken through invalid eminent domain procedures to make sure Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC does its job correctly. It should be our state agencies who lead that effort.”

In a statement last week, Roanoke County said that police had advised the “individuals sitting in two trees” that they were in the right of way granted to the pipeline company through a court order. “They will no longer be allowed to receive supplies from supporters. Anything the individuals need will be available to them when they come down from the trees,” it said.  Sen. John Edwards, whose district includes the city of Roanoke and several surrounding counties, said Virginia prison inmates are treated better than the woman currently in a tree sit on her own property. “She hasn’t been convicted of anything, and she’s being treated in an inhumane fashion. I think it’s outrageous,” said Edwards.

Washington Post coverage is here.