Leesburg and Fairfax, VA -- For the past two days, activists and elected officials have gathered in different Northern Virginia cities to sign the Unity Banner, which celebrates the defeat of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and urges the cancellation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The coalition putting on these events includes Food & Water Action, 350 Loudon, Green New Deal Virginia, Concern for the New Generation, Virginia Pipeline Resisters, Free Nelson, Hands Across Our Land, Protect Our Water, and Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
After over a hundred calls to Herring’s office this past week about stopping MVP from violating the Clean Water Act, activists in Fairfax took the banner to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office and held up signs reading, “Herring: Stop MVP from Polluting our Water.”
“It was a bit emotional getting to sign the banner that’s being passed statewide in unity against fossil fuel pipelines,” says Del. Ibraheem Samirah (H.D. 86). “I wrote, ‘Together, we will defeat any pipeline!’ We won a significant victory together, defeating the Atlantic Coast pipeline, and we will beat the Mountain Valley pipeline next!”
“I’m here to celebrate and thank all of the advocates for their years of work and advocacy,” says Del. Elizabeth Guzman (H.D. 31). “You did it! Now this fight is not over, we still need to work against the MVP pipeline, so please let’s work together to stop it. Our fight doesn’t stop there either, we still need to enact a fossil fuel moratorium, and we must meet zero carbon emissions sooner rather than later.”
“The cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is just one of the many victories to come,” says Jolene Mafnas, Virginia organizer for Food & Water Action. “Our fight isn’t over. We will stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Header Improvement Project, and the C4GT and Chickahominy plants. The people will continue to rise and we will end the fossil fuel industry’s toxic hold on our state’s grid, and put Virginia on the path to a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.”
“There were two pipelines that have been in works for several years. Neither of them should've ever been planned, and neither of them should have ever gotten forward,” says Del. Mark Keam (H.D. 35). “But, unfortunately, the businesses that were behind it, as well as elected public officials, didn’t realize how bad it was and didn’t think about stopping it. It was only when the courts, activists, and regular folks like you and I stepped up and said no more to the pipelines. Only when that happened is when the companies finally came to realize this is a bad business deal for them. One of the two pipelines is done. Thanks to all of your work, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will not be built anymore, and that’s a huge victory.”
"The Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline should never have been proposed, much less approved,” says Jonathan Sokolow, Vice President of Green New Deal Virginia. “We are in a climate emergency that is disproportionately impacting poor communities and communities of color, and we desperately need a just transition to a green economy. In the end, the ACP was cancelled because the power of organized resistance overcame corporate arrogance and greed. MVP will meet the same fate. It is well past time that our elected leaders get on the right side of history."