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Major Climate and Coastal Adaptation Bill Falls One Vote Shy of Passing Virginia Senate Committee

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This is a huge mistake and an enormous missed opportunity for Virginia. As always, thanks a lot Republicans!

Eight state and national environmental groups expressed their disappointment with the vote late this afternoon by the Virginia Senate Agriculture Committee to reject Senator Donald McEachin’s Virginia Coastal Protection Act. Here’s their statement:

“By rejecting the Virginia Coastal Protection Act (VCPA), the Committee failed to move our economy forward and begin the necessary work to work with Virginia’s coastal communities to prepare for rising sea levels linked to climate change.

Senator McEachin, and those who voted for his bill, know that governing is about solutions, which is why Senator McEachin had developed this cost effective plan for addressing coastal flooding, lowering electric bills and meeting the goals of the Clean Power Plan. But the majority rejected this bi-partisan approach.

The House is still considering a companion version of the bill, which is being carried by Delegate Villanueva. Both versions would allow Virginia to compete with our mid-Atlantic neighbors who have created 290,000 renewable and energy efficiency jobs.

In the future, these Senators will again have to decide if they will continue to be deniers who rely on the oldest and dirtiest sources of power or if they want to look forward to the jobs created by investments in wind, solar and energy efficiency.

Virginia is already 80% of the way toward meeting its Clean Power Plan goal with steps the utilities were planning on taking anyway. The VCPA would have easily and efficiently helped us get the rest of the way there. It is a shame that they didn’t do the right thing.”

-Chesapeake Climate Action Network

-Virginia Conservation Network

-Virginia Sierra Club

-Southern Environmental Law Center

-Appalachian Voices

-Environment Virginia

-Virginia League of Conservation Voters

-NextGen Climate America

  • Check out the latest polling by Stanford University:

    1. 78% of U.S. adults believe global warming is very (44%) or somewhat (34%) serious. Just 10% say it’s “not serious at all.”

    2. 83% of U.S. adults say that if nothing is done to reduce global warming, it will be a “very serious” problem (57%) or “somewhat serious” problem (26%). Just 9% say it won’t be a serious problem at all.

    3. Only 30% of U.S. adults give the incorrect response that dealing with global warming would hurt the U.S. economy. 42% give the CORRECT response, which is that dealing with global warming will actually HELP the economy, while 24% say it will have no effect (also the wrong answer).

    Now, check out the responses to various statements on the issue. First, U.S. adults by a more than 5:1 margin say they would be MORE LIKELY to vote for a candidate who says that global warming has been taking place, has been caused by human combustion of fossil fuels, and that it’s time to switch to renewable energy right away.  Second, U.S. adults overwhelmingly say they’d be LESS LIKELY to vote for a candidate who claims “global warming is a hoax” or a “fraud,” and that we should stick with fossil fuels and basically “drill baby drill!” Finally, the pathetic copout statement that “I’m not a scientist” blah blah blah, or the wild lie that taking any action would hurt our economy/kill American jobs, results in 27% more likely to vote for such a candidate, 44% LESS likely to vote for such a candidate.

    4. Finally, it’s important to note that the above numbers are skewed by…take a guess – yeah, Teapublicans. But here’s the amazing thing: not even Teapublicans buy the bull**** statements about climate change being a “hoax,” while by a 2:1 margin even Teapublicans say they’d be MORE LIKELY to vote for a candidate who agrees that global warming has been happening AND has been caused by humans AND that we should transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Of course, the members of Congress (and state legislatures) who are 100% bought-and-paid-for by the fossil fuel industry will be hard to sway from their insane anti-science stances, but perhaps the thought of losing their next election might cause them to shift their thinking a bit? 🙂