Home Energy and Environment Virginia Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

Virginia Joins U.S. Climate Alliance

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If Donald Trump has his way, this is what the skies of Pittsburgh — and Richmond — will look like at noon …

In the face of Team Trump’s climate science denial and the decision to withdrawal from the Paris Accord, four states announced almost immediately a U.S. Climate Alliance to assure future progress in climate mitigation even as the Trump Administration efforts to MAGA seek to put Pittsburgh (whose citizens support, overwhelming, climate action) back into its pollution haze days of the 1950s …

Just out from Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State, Virginia is among ten new states joining the “coalition committed to upholding the Paris Accord”.  From the press release (below the fold), Governor McAuliffe:

“As the first state in the Trump era to take executive action to limit carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs, Virginia is proud to join the Climate Alliance,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. “President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement does not speak for the states and cities that are committed to fighting climate change and paving the way for a new energy economy. If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward – and in Virginia we are doing just that.”

Governor McAuliffe will be soon issuing an announcement on this.

Gov. McAuliffe’s announcement post Trump withdrawal from Paris Accord:

“The President’s dangerous action today will have a devastating impact on our environment, our economy, and our health.  The United States economy is dependent on leadership in the world, yet the President seems inclined to sit back and let other nations pass us by.  Climate change is a threat to our way of life. If President Trump refuses to lead the response, Virginia will.

“Earlier this month I signed an order initiating the process of cutting carbon emissions in our Commonwealth and making Virginia a leader in the clean energy economy. That process will proceed despite this foolish decision by the Trump administration, and I hope states around the country join Virginia in showing Washington the way forward on this critical issue for our nation and our world.”

United States Climate Alliance adds 10 new members to coalition committed to upholding the Paris Accord

  • A_Siegel

    Gov McAuliffe’s announcement: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=20456

    Virginia Joins Alliance of States Committed to Upholding Paris Climate Agreement

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia and 12 other states (to date) have formed an alliance to move forward on the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the federal government from the accord.

    This decision to join the U.S. Climate Alliance follows the Governor’s signature of an Executive Directive initiating the process to cap carbon emissions by electric utilities in Virginia, the first action of its kind since President Trump took office.

    “As the first state in the Trump era to take executive action to limit carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs, Virginia is proud to join the U.S. Climate Alliance,” said Governor McAuliffe. “President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement does not speak for the states and cities that are committed to fighting climate change and paving the way for a new energy economy. If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward – and in Virginia we are doing just that.”

    In addition to Virginia, the U.S. Climate Alliance is composed of the states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

    For more information on Governor McAuliffe’s Clean Energy Virginia initiative to cut carbon and create the next generation of energy jobs, click here.

    – See more at: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=20456#sthash.UmWghhVr.dpuf

    • That’s good, but if you also support new fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g., Dominion’s fracked gas pipelines) and won’t push hard for distributed power, offshore wind, energy efficiency, etc., then it’s kinda meaningless.

      • And yes, that means telling Dirty Dominion to f*** itself.

  • From AG Mark Herring’s office:

    19 ATTORNEYS GENERAL JOIN “WE ARE STILL IN” COALITION TO MAINTAIN COMMITMENTS TO THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

    ~ Coalition of Governors, Mayors, Attorneys General, and Business and University Leaders Across The Country Releases Open Letter to International Community Pledging Support for Climate Action ~

    RICHMOND (June 5, 2017)-Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a coalition of 18 other Attorneys General have joined forces with governors, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.

    “Climate change is a real and urgent threat to Virginia’s economy, environment, and the health of our citizens,” said Attorney General Herring. “I am proud to work with Governor McAuliffe, our mayors, and our allies in public office and the private sector around the country to address climate change and enjoy the economic, environmental, and health benefits of cleaner air and cleaner water. In the absence of leadership in Washington, we must step up and we will.”

    The 19 state attorneys general joining the coalition today include:
    Mark R. Herring, Virginia Attorney General,
    Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General,
    George Jepsen, Connecticut Attorney General,
    Matt Denn, Delaware Attorney General,
    Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General,
    Doug S. Chin, Hawaii Attorney General,
    Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General,
    Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General,
    Janet E. Mills, Maine Attorney General,
    Brian E. Frosh, Maryland Attorney General,
    Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General,
    Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General,
    Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General,
    Eric T. Schneiderman, New York Attorney General,
    Josh Stein, North Carolina Attorney General,
    Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General,
    Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General,
    Peter F. Kilmartin, Rhode Island Attorney General, and
    Thomas J. Donovan Jr., Vermont Attorney General.
    President Trump announced on June 1 that the United States would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016. The signatories to the “We Are Still In” coalition, today released the following statement:

    “We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

    In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.

    The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

    In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

    In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

    It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

    The “We Are Still In” coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country’s exit from the agreement the United States will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • CCAN nails it as usual

    McAuliffe’s Climate “Alliance” Means Nothing If He Supports Fracked-Gas Pipelines. It’s Hypocrisy

    Statement from Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, on VA Gov. McAuliffe joining the U.S. Climate Alliance:

    “Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that he has committed the Commonwealth to an ‘alliance’ with 12 other states to move forward on the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal from the accord. However, Gov. McAuliffe’s announcement will forever ring hollow as long as he continues to support Trump’s plans to build two massive fracked-gas pipelines through Virginia and to drill for oil off of Virginia’s fragile coastline. The Governor’s commitment to fracking and offshore oil will — if realized — cause Virginia to dramatically INCREASE greenhouse gas emissions in coming years, a total violation of the principles of the Paris Agreement. It is, frankly, hypocrisy for the Governor to support both Paris and violent drilling for oil and gas in and across the state. The best thing Gov. McAuliffe could do to support Paris and oppose Trump is to drop his tragic support for offshore oil drilling and for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines for fracked gas.”