The following is from DPVA. Also note that many Virginia Republicans are climate science deniers and/or shills for the dirty energy industry.
Climate change is a problem every day, but on Earth Day it's especially salient. According to a recent poll, there's strong support in Virginia for more action on the environment, not less. Yet, from the top of the 2016 presidential field to legislators in the General Assembly, Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to downplay this critical issue and block desperately needed action to protect our people and our environment.
From the 2016ers:
- Jeb Bush said he is a climate change “skeptic” – and during and after his governorship, he’s dodged questions about the effects of climate change on Florida.
- Marco Rubio has disagreed with scientists over climate change and stated that scientists’ conclusions on climate change were just their “opinion.”
- Chris Christie has also been a climate change skeptic – he’s stated there hasn’t been any proof that Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change. He’s also enacted policies in step with climate change denial, including the closure of the Office of Climate Change, and even pulled New Jersey out of a program that addressed carbon emissions.
- Ted Cruz has denied climate science and said there has been no climate change in the last 17 years, stating that “satellite data shows that there’s been no warming whatsoever.”
- Rand Paul said “fanatics” were advocating for action on climate change and voted against a resolution that stated humans“significantly contribute” to climate change.
In our own General Assembly, while Republicans demanded carve-outs to protect existing polluters, Democrats sought to ease our transition to cleaner energy, resisted efforts to obstruct the Clean Power Plan, and generally worked to create a safe, healthy environment — an absolute necessity if Virginia is to remain a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
- Require Dirty Power Plants to Pay when They Pollute — Senate Democrats supported a plan to require dirty power plants to pay when they release carbon pollution into the atmosphere; the plan would have used that money to spur economic development [in Southwest Virginia] and combat flooding in at-risk coastal communities. This was killed in committee on a party-line vote. Most Republicans opposed even a non-binding study on what that plan might look like in action.
- Stronger Penalties for Polluters — The maximum penalty on polluters under a special order hasn’t been raised for decades, and inflation has made it a less and less effective tool for keeping our environment safe and clean. Democrats fought to lift the ceiling on penalties from $10,000 to $25,000. This died in a House committee.
- Frivolous Litigation — Republican Senator Frank Wagner is so opposed to environmental protections, he even introduced a measure asking the General Assembly to hire a lawyer to sue the EPA over carbon pollution standards, circumventing Virginia's own Attorney General.