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Va. Gubernatorial Candidates Take Stance on Natural Gas Pipelines

Posted: Updated: Feb 20, 2017 05:42 PM
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -

Gubernatorial candidates are taking a stance on the commonwealth's natural gas pipeline talks.

Democratic candidate Tom Perriello announced his opposition to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines Wednesday, February 8.

Perriello, a former congressman and Charlottesville native, aims to stand out in the Virginia governor's race by declaring his opposition to these natural gas pipeline projects.

The candidate says after a thorough look at this issue he's decided the pipelines are not in the best interest of Virginians or the environment. If elected governor, Perriello says he would do what is in his power to prevent construction.

"Now is the time for Virginia to be leading on the next generation of idea,” Perriello stated. "This is not an issue of right and left. This is an issue of right and wrong," he said.

Perriello offered some alternative proposals, like encouraging other clean energy investments and creating incentives for Virginians to weatherize their homes or businesses. He says supporting solar and wind initiatives would create many high-paying jobs for the commonwealth.

The Democrat also committed to reject certain campaign donations: "I will not take one dime from Dominion, but I will sit down with them any time to talk about pragmatic solutions that move us forward.”

Meanwhile, Republican candidates for governor - Ed Gillespie and Corey Stewart - expressed their support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They say it makes common sense for job creation and harnessing natural resources.

“We've shed 69,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years alone and the construction of the pipeline alone will create thousands of good-paying jobs that we need here in Virginia,” Gillespie stated.

Gillespie also points out that natural gas cuts down carbon emissions. “We need to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, get it built,” he said. “Make sure that we're creating these high-paying jobs and that we're holding down electricity and energy costs for Virginians, especially the poorest among us who get hit the hardest by higher energy prices.”

The other Democrat in the governor's race, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, says the science and facts must be carefully studied. Northam says he supports a robust and transparent process as regulators review the plans.

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