Coy’s open mic comment disgraceful

Published 8:21 pm Saturday, June 2, 2018

To the editor:

Governor Ralph Northam and his communications director, Brian Coy, recently took questions from the public on WTOP radio. During a break, Mr. Coy was inadvertently recorded on an open mic. Although most of the questions were about the gas pipelines, Mr. Coy told WTOP that he wanted only one question about the pipelines, and that citizens opposed to the pipelines were not acting in good faith.

These comments show a disregard for public opinion and contempt for those who are opposed to the many negative impacts these pipelines would bring to hardworking Virginians.


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Those impacts include the taking of property by a private company for a project that is not in the public interest. They include safety risks, including an evacuation zone that is 1.4 miles wide. They include large property value losses, and resultant revenue reduction to local communities along the path of the pipeline. They include environmental justice violations as the pipelines are routed through mostly low-income areas. They include severe water pollution to our streams and rivers and likely loss of water to those who use springs and wells for our drinking water in karst areas.

Add destruction of our forests, loss of scenic beauty, reduced tourism, disruption to communities through invasive construction and hundreds of temporary, out-of-state workers, loss of endangered species and unhealthy air pollution.

Cap that off with incentivizing fracking with all its negative health impacts and increased greenhouse gas emissions far into the future that will surely wreak havoc, hardship and economic decline as our climate worsens, and our ecosystems can no longer support us.

Are these the issues that Mr. Coy does not wish to discuss? These pipeline impacts are now known to most Virginians. Rather than close his eyes and hope they go away, Mr. Coy should explain to all of us why he thinks they are OK. Without doing this, he is the one who is not acting in good faith.

Bill Limpert

Warm Springs