Southwest Virginia Democratic Legislators Push Back Against Pipelines

1/12/18

By Paula C. Squires

Sen. John Edwards, (left) Del. Chris Hurst (center) and Del. Sam Rasoul at the conference. Photo by Paula Squires

Southwest Virginia’s three Democratic legislators made clear Thursday that their region will continue to resist new natural gas pipelines with a package of bills that calls for tougher state regulations to protect individual property rights and water quality.

State Sen. John S. Edwards, Del. Chris S. Hurst and Del. Sam Rasoul presented a unified front during a joint press conference Thursday at the Pocahontas Building in Richmond. Rasoul said the group wanted to repeat a message raised earlier in the contentious fight against two new major pipelines in Virginia: “Don’t touch our drinking water.”

He noted that in the Southwest there are concerns that construction of a 42-inch pipeline to transport fracked gas through steep mountainous terrain and across streams in the Roanoke and New River Valleys could unearth sediment that could be washed downstream, threatening public water supplies.

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