I don’t disagree with the to-do list Mary Kimm wrote for the state legislature (“Wish List: Things this session of the General Assembly, beginning Jan. 9, could/should accomplish,” Connection, Jan. 9), but, since she asked, I’ll offer another idea: access to clean, affordable energy.
The Governor, state regulatory boards, lawmakers, interest groups, and energy firms are embroiled in a significant fight about natural gas pipelines. I will admit I don’t understand the controversy. Our state traditionally has depended on coal for its energy. Natural gas burns a lot cleaner than coal. It’s better for our environment. It’s also been proven that underground pipelines are a safe way to transport natural gas—safer than by truck on our highways or by train on our rails.
The benefits go beyond the impact on clean air. Virginia has 125,500 “jobs supported” by natural gas and natural gas added $11.9 billion to the state economy.
Kimm is right. We need more transparency. We need to fund education, but at the top of my list, is improving our environment and our economy by investing in natural gas infrastructure.