Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bristol Herald Courier: Kaine "Knee-Deep in the Muck"

UPDATE 4:40pm: Find the full text of the letter and more at RK.

Gov. Kaine has already sacrificed huge amounts of credibility to go to bat for Dominion Virginia Power, cheerleading unrestrained dependence on coal even in the face of proposed massive rate increases.

But today, the Bristol Herald Courier says Kaine has reached a new low:
For some months, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has carefully stayed out of the controversy surrounding Dominion Power Co.’s proposed coal-fired plant in Wise County.

No more. The governor is knee-deep in the muck – firing off an opaquely worded letter to the state Air Pollution Control Board that nudges the panel to give the plant its stamp of approval.

Kaine shrewdly avoids issuing a direct executive command, but the implications of his letter are clear. The five-member citizen panel had better not stand in Dominion’s way. [...]

Kaine drafted the letter to the board June 10. A day later, his communications director, Gordon Hickey, denied that such a letter existed. On Friday, Hickey said he didn’t learn of the letter until after he spoke with this newspaper. [...]

It seems likely that Kaine wanted to influence the Air Pollution Control Board in private while preserving his public persona as an environmental crusader. He cannot have it both ways without being judged guilty of blatant hypocrisy.
Check out more analysis of Kaine's letter from the former chair of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

Cross-posted from RK
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