Friends of Buckingham annual meeting was on Wednesday December 9 on Zoom. Council elections were held. Re-elected, for 2 year terms are: Secretary – Heidi Dhivya Berthoud; Council Members at Large – Marie Flowers, Ada Washington, Ella Rose, Richard Walker. Irene Leech joins us for the first time, also for a 2 year term. Welcome and thanks to all! The remaining Council members have one year more to finish out their 2 year terms: President – Chad Oba, Treasurer – John Laury; Council Members at Large – Ruby Laury, Marie Gillespie, Lakshmi Fjord, Richard Walker.
Recap of 2020 FoB Activities and Accomplishments include:
Attend biweekly rallies with allies outside of Dominion headquarters, Cville; first, third Wednesdays at noon
Jan 8: General Assembly Opening Day Prayer Breakfast; met with Fourth Circuit Chief Justice Gregory, keynote speaker who presided over the Buckingham Compressor Air Permit appeal case; decision had just been published.
People’s Prayer Breakfast; Green New Deal Virginia Opening Day Rally at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square; Noon weekly rally outside the governor’s mansion & office; Wiccan Prayer delivered
Extensive planning for a thank you celebration for allies for Fourth Circuit air permit Win for March 28 in Buckingham at the BARN; canceled due to Covid 19
Jan 9 Fire Drill Fridays in DC: Some of us attended, and more than one event
Jan 28: Lobby days in Richmond with VCN
Green New Deal conference calls.
Launched action letter calling into question the controversial VACEA in collaboration with PPC, FWW, Thomas Hadwin, Irene Leech
Jan 26: SELC debrief about Fourth Circuit Case at UGBC
Ongoing stream monitoring of 12 water body crossings in Buckingham in alliance with CSI Citizen Surveillance Initiative;
Biweekly CSI meetings
Feb 23-25: Accepted Sierra Club’s invitation to lobby about NEPA rollbacks; attended SCOTUS case on Appalachian Trail crossings by pipelines on publicly owned land; SELC arguing vs Dominion; FoB a plaintiff; LTE written to RTD on NEPA rollbacks.
March 4: U of Richmond ally & law professor Noah Sachs hosts Tish O’Dell to speak on Rights of Nature. FoB members attend
March 8: C5 Meeting at Cedar Grove Baptist Church, in Providence Forge, east of RVA; Union Hill meets impacted community of Header ‘Injustice’ Project; ongoing alliance, meetings & actions with HIP [Header Injustice Project], SAVE
March 9: Governor’s Panel on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity meeting in Cville; letter of feedback sent to panel re why Carlos Brown, Dominion executive is on the panel; LTE written
Collaborative extensive sign on letter to state leadership asking to deny the ACP, in the works.
Committee work on nominations for DEQ Air Board Appointees.
Strategy committee work on public opinion through online petitions and other media.
Videos of local frontline people to be used in multiple venues.
FoB FB page daily posting on pipelines, related infrastructure, notices of meetings, hearings, etc. and advancements in renewable energy.
Participation in DEQ consultant SKEO group on Environmental Justice.
Racial sensitivity training
2020 FOB legal sign-ons and consultations with Southern Environmental Law Center:
- SELC Amicus Briefs related to litigation associated w polluting infrastructures.
- Extension denial for ACP to FERC
- Extension denial for Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
- NWP12 (water crossing) permits MVP with Corp of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife
- Forest Service comments for MVP
- Mitigation and restoration for ACP easements on public lands
- NEPA consultations on Union Hill experiences (Senior Attorney Kym Hunter et al)
- Additional individual comments made to above by FOB Council members
June 20: FOB members participate in virtual Poor People’s Mass Assembly
June 30: FOB members presented on panel for MIT students – Environmental Justice and polluting infrastructures. (John and Ruby Laury, Chad Oba)
June-July: Independent journalist (Henry Haney) interviews with impacted Union Hill residents /members of FOB Council (John and Ruby Laury, Marie Gillespie, Chad Oba)
July 1: Panel presentation by FOB (Chad) for Sierra Club Robeson Rises
Union Hill and compressor station
JULY 5: ACP is cancelled!!!!!! CELEBRATION TIME!!!!!
July 6: FOB Council members attend Virginia Organizing workshop (virtual) on Virginia government
July: FOB committee work on DEQ Air Board appointment nominations
July: Collaboration on Union Hill video for Yogaville update on ACP cancellation
July: Ella Rose, FOB Council member, provides testimony to House Committee on Oil and Gas Impacts
July: Zoom panel on WTJU with John and Ruby Laury and Chad. Why the ACP was cancelled and EJ.
July-August: Interviews with FOB council members with Channel 19, independent journalists, CBS NYC, Energy News, Appalachian Voices and Sierra Club publications
July 30: Zoom celebration for FoB – Cancellation of ACP
July-December: Gold committee organized and weekly calls to organize around opposition to open pit gold mining in Buckingham. Alliance formed with impacted neighborhood group. FOB provides technical assistance and advocacy. Legislation drafted and introduced to legislative sponsors
August: Sign-ons with Victory over Infrackstructures Clean Energy Instead (VOICES) for FERC reformations (People’s Hearing). Irene Leech, FoB member gives testimony
September: Collaboration with Bridging the Gap on weatherization energy audit program for Union Hill residents
July – November: Individual and sign on comments to DEQ on Header Improvement Project, Chickahominy Gas Plant, Cumberland County Mega landfill, Charles City mega landfill, C4Gt power plant.
Weekly calls and collaboration with allied groups continues.
Monthly FoB Council meetings
ABRA board meeting conference calls
Numerous zoom calls, webinars
Annual meeting and elections December 9 by zoom