Elected Democrats vocal on Power Plant- Raising Kaine and Protesters Silent
The anti coal loons at Raising Kaine that were posting daily about the Wise County Power Plant have been silent for the past few days. Tim Kaine supports the plant, and Mark Warner has went on record that coal is a must for our future. The United Mine Workers have officially endorsed the plant and last night at the final DEQ meeting in St Paul my delegate Bud Phillip's blasted the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board.
His message? Follow the letter of the law. Don't let personal misgivings about coal power taint decisions on approving or disapproving the permits.
In a highly unusual move, the air board voted 3-2 to take over control of the permitting process from the Department of Environmental Quality on March 20.
Although none of the five-member air board was present last night, DEQ officials will forward a transcript of the hearing to them for consideration during their deliberations on the permit.
"Virginia is a rule of law state," Phillips said. "One of the things I'd like to make sure DEQ and the air board understand is they have to uphold the constitution of the state."
Alleging that the air board is playing "environmental politics," Phillips was visibly angry at times during his address.
"Air board members should be accountable to the Constitution, the legislature and the regulations they've sworn to implement," he said.(LINK)
The fired up Democrat had more to say!
Noting that he looks over the Virginia City plant site every morning from his home, the delegate said he looked at the issue "very objectively" before taking a position.
Phillips said legislators tried their best to make the process open to the public, and Dominion has followed each regulation to the letter.
"We've tried hard in the General Assembly to have a fair process for regulating and permitting both air and water in the commonwealth," he said. "It doesn't mean an (air) board member can take a permit in their own hands and do what they will with it other than what the law and regluations allow.
"They can't take the law in their own hands and do things to make it more difficult or easier for a permit to be granted."
Calling on air board members to follow the letter of the law, Phillips said they had all information in hand to make the decision.
"I'm calling on the air board to do exactly that," he said, "take the law, read the law. If you don't know what it is, consult the attorney general. Then make the decision based on the laws and regulations of this commonwealth."
Phillips said air board members should be held accountable to the Constitution of Virginia, the legislature and "the regulations they're sworn to implement.
"I've read some things that have really disturbed me about the air board," he said. "They believe they're in a position to go beyond the regulations and the law."
Phillips reiterated his position that Dominion has met all federal and state regulations.
"I don't believe it's the air board's position to decide public policy," he said. "I don't believe the air board can go outside the law and dictate on this permit that this permit use anything other than coal. If they do that, they're doing it illegally.
"There's no reason whatsoever the permit should not be issued," he said.
Phillips said that without coal-fired electricity it will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet the energy needs of the state.
"If you want to turn the lights out, stifle economic development and turn this country backwards, try to limit the types of fuel we use to meet our energy needs.
"Air board: Don't get into this issue. Don't try to decide public policy or make an environmental statement," he said. "Follow the law."
Indeed. When the rates go up in NOVA, thank the plant protesters. Enough is enough! Issue the permits and let the construction begin.