Dominion is a company that at face-value appears to be the most powerful one in the state. They have a lot on the line right now in the political atmosphere due to their $5 Billion dollar pipeline project. Although the executive branch appears to fully-support the pipeline – don’t count out the opponents of the project to try and plead their case. That’s why Dominion invested heavy money and manpower into these recent election.
Brian McKay made a presentation in Arizona last month to garner more support for the pipeline. “Nowadays [regulators] are being bombarded by general citizenry, by elected officials who have asked to insert themselves into the process, and this debate swirls around.”
Dominion had compiled a “supporter database” of more than 23,000 names, generated 150 letters to the editor, sent more than 9,000 cards and letters to federal regulators and local elected officials, and directed more than 11,000 calls to outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia’s U.S. senators.
McKay insisted that in those people writing letters and making phone calls are all volunteers – they are not paid by Dominion. “they’re not paid. They come out and stand up to a microphone”
McKay argues that Dominion is just employing the same tactics that the opponents of the pipeline incorporate. He said that it would be “negligent” to not put forth such effort.
On December 2 – Opponents are planning a protest in downtown Richmond at Capitol Square. They are planning to lock hands and wear blue ribbons. The opponents promise to continue keeping up the pressure on the new administration.
McKay continues, “outrage and intimidation” as “common tools” to try to delegitimize the process. In the wake of President Trump’s election, the opposition is “more aggressive, [with] more litigation, more funding.”
The current governor and both of the candidates in the elected supported the pipeline – however this has not put McKay’s mind at ease. Saying he never wants to take their support for “granted”.
“The pipeline issue will never go away unless the pipelines go away,” said Josh Stanfield of the group Activate Virginia.
Stanfield says that the Governor’s office has the influence over Virginia’s regulatory agencies – the General Assembly has no real power. Stanfield continued to imply that the reason McAuliffe isn’t afraid of backlash from Democrat’s is because he is eyeing a presidential campaign in 2020.
The only shot that opponents of the pipeline have left of stopping the project is when Virginia’s Water Control Board holds meetings to consider water quality permits next month. Federal regulation agencies have mostly given the project a green light.