Statement: Governor Northam Vetoes Bill Limiting VA’s Ability to Reduce Power Plant Pollution
“People of faith and conscience from across Virginia have spoken up on the importance of addressing climate change because of its far-reaching moral implications. Vetoing a bill that would have undercut Virginia’s efforts to clean up pollution and safeguard its citizens is a good decision.
As young people and students around the world and right here in Richmond are gearing up to bring attention to the climate crisis tomorrow for the Youth Climate Strike, it reminds us of the urgency of moving forward to cut carbon pollution and to adapt to the consequences of climate disruption.”
(March 14, 2019)
Statement on Governor Northam’s Yearbook Photo
“We have concerns about how well the governor understands how deeply racism is embedded and institutionalized in Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The environmental justice community, especially residents of Union Hill in Buckingham County, have been trying to educate him on environmental racism for years now particularly as relates to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposed compressor station.
We are waiting to see if and how Northam will prioritize racial healing. We continue to monitor the unfolding situation.”
(February 11, 2019)
Statement: Governor Northam Announces Environmental Justice Council
“In order for the health of all families and communities to be protected no matter where they live, work, play, and pray, we must make sure the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice is fully funded, codified, and has the authority to ensure the incorporation of environmental justice throughout our policies.
Re-establishing the Council is one step towards making the Commonwealth a more environmentally just place. The recent treatment of environmental justice communities has made it clear that we have a long way to go. Environmental justice has been ignored in Virginia for too long, and the leadership of many elected officials on this issue has been woefully inadequate.
I have faith that this moment will inspire an even greater movement towards justice.”
(January 22, 2019)
Statement: Air Pollution Control Board Approves Air Permit for the Buckingham Compressor Station
“People of faith across the commonwealth have consistently called out the injustice of this compressor station, and we will continue to answer the higher, moral call to love and care for our neighbors.
The choice of the Air Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality to permit the sacrifice of our neighbors’ health and safety for a private company to profit is disheartening.
The approval of this permit and the interference of Governor Northam in the permitting process makes it clear that we need comprehensive policy on environmental justice and to codify the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.”
(January 8, 2019)
Statement: Air Pollution Control Board Defers Air Permit Vote on the Buckingham Compressor Station
“Virginians of faith have taken action out of a moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable from the negative impacts of fossil fuel infrastructure. Today, over 40 people of faith, who are also Dominion Energy customers, have turned off their lights as part of a 24-hour Power-Fast and an act of solidarity with Union Hill.
We are thankful that the Air Pollution Control Board has decided to take additional time to consider environmental injustice, site suitability, and cumulative impacts of the entire pipeline by deferring their vote on the air permit.
We believe that decisions about energy production are moral issues at their core, and that sacrificing our neighbors’ health and safety for a private company to profit is wrong.”
(November 9, 2018)
Statement: Interfaith Organization Encourages Governor Northam to Reaffirm Commitment to Environmental Justice
“In the past, Governor Ralph Northam and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler have both spoken on their commitment to environmental justice. We urge Governor Northam to reflect on the importance of justice enabling all Virginians to live in a clean, safe environment.
We encourage him to issue an executive order re-affirming his commitment to environmental justice that firmly places the Advisory Council on Environmental Justice on solid legal ground. In these turbulent times, our society must not forget our higher call to love and care for our neighbors.”
(October 25, 2018)
Press Release – Faith Delegation Recommends Urgent Action on Pipelines
VAIPL report details moral implications of Atlantic Coast Pipeline Buckingham compressor station
“In light of recent setbacks for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light released a report today entitled Our Air, Our Lives: Religious Fact-Finding Delegation to Buckingham County. The report recommends urgent action, such as participating in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Buckingham compressor station air permit public comment period open through September 11 and interfaith prayer and meditation for the strength and renewal of the residents of Buckingham and those across Virginia being impacted by the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. …“
(August 16, 2018)
VAIPL Steering Committee Statement in response to the current Administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy for people seeking asylum at our southern border
“… Some may be wondering why and how this might relate to the mission of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light. Our mission is to work with people of all faiths to ensure healthy communities and climate justice through education and advocacy. This work and mission is increasingly related to immigration as we see the consequences and impacts of the climate crisis grow around the globe. In our hemisphere, more peoples will be driven from their homelands due to drought, wildfires, floods, severe storms, insect infestations, and extreme heat waves. A global community that strives for human rights will be called upon to respond with support and welcome to the many who will be displaced. The negative trend in this nation, coming from the leadership in government and supported by some citizens, to respond with negative immigration and hard hearted zero tolerance policies exacerbates the suffering of those seeking refuge and may lead to even more diabolical remedies. …”
(July 3, 2018)