Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Patently Unethical

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Patently Unethical

I am a physician, an independent voter, and a resident of Mount Vernon. My main voting issue is climate change from global warming, caused largely by human consumption of fossil fuels.

I voted for Governor Northam because he promised that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be fully evaluated, including the environmental impact at each water crossing. He has not honored that promise. Failure to honor campaign promises is typical of politicians, but I had expected Northam to have higher ethical standards.

Now he is disrupting a governmental process by changing citizen members of the state Air Pollution Control Board and the state Water Control Board in the midst of their hearings and deliberations. These members were the very ones that expressed concern over Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline plan. This is patently an unethical political action. I am outraged by this! These board members have spent hours becoming fully informed on these matters, and it is no time to bring in others new to the issues. These board members have seen face to face the passion of Union Hill residents, environmentalists, and people concerned over the consequences of global warming. They have heard scientific facts from lawyers of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Southern Environmental Law Center which debunked inadequate studies by Dominion.

We have enough pipelines to supply current needs and business growth in Virginia. Modern businesses want energy from renewable sources in Virginia, not from climate-damaging fossil fuels. We know that this is about profit for Dominion, and that rate payers will pay for it.

One of the basic principles in medicine is, first do no harm. Governor Northam, as a pediatrician, knows this. But building more fossil fuel infrastructure does much harm, now and for decades to come. It will do harm to his children and mine.

I regret my vote for Governor Northam. I am ashamed of him. He should be ashamed of himself!

I urge other citizens to take a stand against new pipelines, since they threaten to increase the climate chaos on this planet that we are already experiencing.

Bruce P. Tinker, MD, FACC