RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Hundreds of people from across Virginia have rallied in Richmond to protest two proposed natural gas pipelines that would cross the state. Landowners, activists, a state lawmaker and two newly elected delegates were among those gathered at Capitol Square on Saturday to oppose the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. Speakers addressed the crowd before attendees marched peacefully to a theater for a concert. Organizers said more than 500 people attended.
The protest comes ahead of a crucial permitting decision by the State Water Control Board on whether to grant water quality certifications to the projects. Opponents say the pipelines will degrade water quality, infringe on property rights and further commit the region to fossil fuels. Supporters say the projects will create jobs, boost economic developments and lower energy costs.