Faith delegation recommends urgent action on pipelines

businessIn 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.

“Many Virginians aren’t aware of the negative consequences of our energy choices as a society and how they exacerbate other issues that people of faith are already working on, such as hunger, sickness, clean water, immigration, refugees, and global conflict,” Elizabeth Stevens, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Communication & Assistant Director, said. “We’re issuing this report to shine a light on how new and unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure is harming a community right here in Virginia and to let people of faith know that they can do something about it as part of their faith practice to care for our neighbors and all of Creation.”

The report is based on the recent July 26 clergy and faith leader delegation to Union Grove Baptist Church in the Union Hill community in Buckingham County where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station has been proposed by Dominion Energy. Spiritual traditions represented during the delegation included Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Wicca. Resident testimonies and moral recommendations for people of faith and decision-makers, such as Governor Ralph Northam, were compiled to create Virginia Interfaith Power & Light’s final report.

“We call on Governor Northam to reflect on the pain felt by Virginia residents caused by the use of fossil fuels. VAIPL stands with the governor’s own Advisory Council on Environmental Justice urging him to take immediate steps to suspend the compressor station permitting process and to ensure the health and safety concerns of Buckingham residents are adequately addressed,” Kendyl Crawford, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Director, said. “As a faith community, it is important that we turn prayers into action advocating for environmental justice and the fundamental rights of all people to live in safety, breathe clean air and drink clean water. ”

The report also highlights additional recommendations made by the Religious Fact-Finding Delegation to Buckingham County. Being released just ahead of the Department of Environmental Quality information session on the compressor station air permit being held in Buckingham County tonight, the report’s purpose is to raise awareness of the sacrifice zones and communities left in the wake of dirty and dangerous energy sources.


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