Per Blue Virginia, the Commonwealth's premier liberal blog:
We heard it from Gov. Terry McAuliffe. We heard it repeatedly from Lt. Governor Ralph Northam during his primary campaign against pipeline opponent Tom Perriello. During one of the debates, Northam refused to say whether he was for or against the pipelines, falling back on the notion that his hands are tied: “At the end of the day, FERC, a federal agency will be the one to make the final determination,” he said. “It’s not something that a Governor or a Lt. Governor can make a decision on.” On July 15, Ralph Northam told a group in Charlottesville the same thing, “At the end of the day it’s an interstate project and that means that FERC is going to making the final decisions.” Just a few weeks ago, he told the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions to focus on FERC, “If there is attention that has to be given to someone that’s gonna make the decision, it should be at the federal level.”
I’ve even heard it from some local delegates and non-elected Democratic party leaders. To a one, the message has been loud and clear: We can’t do anything about the pipelines so you might as well be quiet. After all, we have an election to win.
Yes, we do have an election to win. But this controversy isn’t going away. In fact, the issue is just starting to heat up. And if our political leaders don’t start being a bit more candid, this issue could be the story of the November elections.