I’m heartened to see Governor Terry McAuliffe stepping up his leadership around climate change mitigation and want to thank him for enacting a Clean Power Plan for Virginia. He understands that when the federal government neglects its duty to protect the environment and citizens, states need to fill the gap. However, we don’t need natural gas pipelines running across our state (not to mention offshore drilling). Instead, strong incentive programs for home solar and more investment in wind and geothermal energy are key.
I hope Governor McAuliffe will follow the lead of Representative Don Beyer and call for more thorough environmental assessments and increased public input on the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. The last thing we need are pipelines interfering with the Appalachian Trail or a disastrous spill into clean water sources and wildlife habitats.
I'm glad to see that Ralph Northam vows to carry the Clean Power Plan forward if elected. His relationship with Dominion Power, a company that has obstructed the development of renewable energy across the state, is still troubling. At a time when scientists believe we have a tiny chance of hitting the 2 degree C warming limit set by the Paris Climate Accord, we need politicians to be bolder in their strategies.
Melanie is a member of Virginia Democracy Forward, Natural Resource Defense Council and Citizen's Climate Lobby. (Reprinted from The Connection)