Community Perspective: An open letter to Virginia Senator Mark Obenshain

A community perspectives piece by Charlotte Shristi

Dear Senator Obenshain,

As a constituent and resident of Rockingham County, I strongly urge you to oppose Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation as Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources.  At a time when Virginians are facing the imminent effects of a climate crisis, Wheeler is clearly the wrong choice! I live in a beautiful part of the state. But I want to be able to continue enjoying the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley; to be able to share it with my children as well as with those who come from other parts of the state and country!

The Secretary of Natural Resources’ job should be to protect our environment and public health; the air we breathe, the water we drink, the biodiversity upon which we depend, the stability of a predictable climate.  But as Trump’s EPA administrator, Wheeler clearly demonstrated that he’s not up to the task.  On the contrary, he was more committed to protecting the coal and oil industries than the American people. And that’s exactly what he will continue doing in our state!

Wheeler’s track record at the EPA has already indicted him, his policies threatening our most basic rights as Americans!  He has slashed air pollution safeguards, worsening the air we breathe, attacked the Clean Water Rule, threatening the water we drink, rolled back critical measures that protected millions of Americans from mercury, chlorpyrifos, and other toxic chemicals, and undermined efforts to address dangerous carbon pollution from power plants and transportation, setting us back in what should be a united response to the current climate catastrophe we all find ourselves in!

Virginians deserve a true leader who will put the health and wellbeing of common Virginians before the interests of fossil fuel billionaires and their shareholders, before the interests of other polluters and their lobbyists. 

Please vote NO on Wheeler’s confirmation.

Please do the right thing for Virginia voters and for our children.


Charlotte Shristi

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