From the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter:
Clean Energy Supporters Call for Virginia to Transition to 100% Clean Energy
Around 50 clean energy supporters gathered at George Mason University Thursday to call for a strong Virginia Energy Plan that rapidly transitions Virginia to clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The rally, which included youth activists, faith groups and public health professionals, took place ahead of the final public listening session about Virginia’s Energy Plan.
Well over 100 people attended the listening session, with an overwhelming amount calling for a plan focused on clean energy. The energy plan, being developed by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, will attempt to “provide a strategic vision for the energy policy of the commonwealth over the next 10 years.” This was the final of six energy plan listening sessions held throughout Virginia.
“The extraordinary number of Virginians calling for clean energy during these listening sessions sends the clear message that Gov. Northam’s plan should prioritize clean renewable energy,” Kate Addleson, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “By expanding access to distributed energy resources like solar and wind, Northam can prepare Virginia for a modern, equitable energy future, free from the dirty and dangerous consequences of fossil fuels.”
The rally speakers highlighted the progress clean energy could provide to Virginia, including the thousands of associated well-paying clean energy careers the industries could create. Also covered were the public health benefits and moral imperative of eliminating the impacts of fossil fuels, which disproportionately affect marginalized communities.
Speakers included Dr. Samantha Adhoot, Chair of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, Sophie Depret-Guillaume, a youth activist for solar energy, Coles Terry, an impacted community member who’s family’s land in path of Mountain Valley Pipeline, David Kepley with Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions and Rev. Alice King of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun.
“As more local communities use solar and wind energy, they become cheaper, giving homes and businesses the opportunity to choose cleaner energy,” Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, Chair of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, said. “This improves our air and water and stabilizes our climate. As a physician and a mother, I believe our most important legacy is an America where the air is clean and the water is safe for our children and grandchildren. Virginia can help lead the way towards a clean-energy future for generations to come.”
The 2018 Virginia Energy Plan presents an opportunity for Gov. Northam to set the stage for a clean energy boom in Virginia and ensure that our energy infrastructure is clean, cost effective and resilient. The stakeholder process for the energy plan includes a 60-day written comment period, in-person public listening sessions and a series of facilitated stakeholder discussions. Comments can be submitted online through August 24.
About the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter: The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is over 20,000 members strong. We are your friends and neighbors working to build healthy, livable communities, and to conserve and protect our climate and environment. The Virginia Chapter is part of the national Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org/