On behalf of many local citizens, I would like to express appreciation for Alicia Petska's news story in The Roanoke Times July 17 ("Gov. stands by pipeline support"), covering Gov. Terry McAulliffe's visit at the Hotel Roanoke.
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League gathered Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters outside with signs for the governor to see as he came and left. Local media covered the outside activities with video and interviews.
On the inside were reporters, including Petska, near the room where he would speak. The governor was late. He and his entourage went quickly into the business breakfast. He took time to respond to questions when he came out.
At this point, Petska's article describes well what happened, and she provides additional information demonstrating that the governor is not representing fully the facts of the MVP situation.
The article notes a protester (me) who responds to the governor's statement that local citizens will have use of MVP gas by saying, "The gas is going overseas." The governor responds saying, " ... let's just have the facts."
Petska's article proceeds to get the facts straight, quoting Sen. John Edwards (standing next to the governor), who would say later to the reporter, "The idea that it's not going overseas, I don't think anybody believes that." The article also notes the current plan is for MVP gas to go to India.
There is one key additional point: McAulliffe, received $15,000 (vpap.org) in campaign donations from EQT, a financial partner in developing this pipeline. Might this be impacting the governor's energetic support of MVP and prompting him to distort the facts?
As Ralph Nader said in 2000, the same big money interests are going to the dinners of both parties, buying interest both ways. As a lifelong voting Democrat, such reality saddens me.
As Gov. McAlliffe left, my wife asked him, "How would you feel if the pipeline was in your back yard?" This clergy person hopes that the Golden Rule may rise again as a cornerstone of our culture.