The following is from the Nicole Merlene for State Senate campaign; I hope to see every single Virginia Democrat endorsing something like a “Green New Deal,” because that’s the level of commitment and political initiative that the climate crisis and our problematic economic/social justice situations calls for going forward. If you are *not* calling for a “Green New Deal,” then I want to hear YOUR preferred method(s) of addressing these urgent problems. If you don’t have anything to offer, then please get out of the way and let others take your place. – Lowell
Nicole Merlene Officially Endorses the Virginia Green New Deal
(Arlington, VA) Democratic State Senate Candidate Nicole Merlene has made an official endorsement of the Virginia Green New Deal. Merlene stated her reasoning behind backing the ambitious bill set out by Virginia Delegates Sam Rasoul and Elizabeth Guzman earlier this year stressing the intersectionality between economic, environmental, and social justice. The Green New Deal perfectly with her platform in championing the workforce in the 31st District, working toward leaving a healthier environment for future generations, and making sure all voices are heard in the Virginia State Legislature, no matter what their background might be.
“It just makes sense to back a plan like this,” Merlene stated. “If we want to truly champion these progressive values like the Democratic party wants to, we have to support more legislation that falls along these lines. I have long stated that we need to reinvest in our green space in Virginia and this bill will help us do just that. We all have a workforce in the Commonwealth of Virginia that is in desperate need of new job opportunities and the training that goes along with them, or they risk falling behind and not being able to support their families. Not only that, but the areas that these projects would being built in would help stimulate those rural economies and also make sure that those underrepresented demographics get the fair wages that they deserve. Also along the lines of social and economic justice for all, having clean water and clean air are basic human rights that every person in Virginia deserves, no matter what their income bracket is. Creating these green jobs will reinvigorate our diverse workforce, while cleaning our air and water, reinvesting money into some of our most impoverished areas in the commonwealth, and making sure that all people earn their fair share all in one package and that to me is the most progressive step you could take.”
“100% reliance on renewable energy may seem like an ambitious goal but it is well within our reach. Deep red states like Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma all went from having less than 5% of their statewide electricity coming from green energy sources to having almost 40% come from green energy sources in the span of a decade. So why can’t that be us? Climate change is real and if we want to fight it and try repair the damage that is already done, we have to work to similar if not higher goals as those states. We may not have the same amount of wind as those Midwestern States do and we may have a larger population than those states, but we have the technology for solar and hydroelectric sources and the battery storage to make sure we can scale that kind of energy for the Commonwealth. We also have the people who are looking for jobs that can take on those large scale projects in numerous areas in Virginia.”
Speaking on the obstacles towards that, Ms. Merlene continued, “There are definite steps that we need to go through to end the monopolies that some energy companies in our commonwealth have. Large scale utilities make it almost impossible for individuals to take advantage of renewable energy sources for their own homes by making it financially burdensome. But championing individual solar freedom is just a small portion of that. We need to make it so that our commonwealth is accessible for green energy companies so they can compete with Dominion Energy and they can supply renewable energy commercially as well. It will be make great positive impacts on our environment as a whole and also on the wallets of our residents. I am proud to say that I endorse the Virginia Green New Deal.”
Building upon her prior pledge to not take money from state regulated utilities, Nicole Merlene is taking the next step after that to build up our green energy economy. Though getting money out of politics was the first part of that pledge, a large part of it was also to make sure that renewable energy can grow and thrive without being shut down by utility companies, who fear allowing the green energy economy to grow would negatively impact their business. With the current legislature having taken a lot of money from Dominion Energy already, legislation like this may not be able to pass through the current House of Delegates or the State Senate due to their financial dependence to the utility company Nicole Merlene wants to be the champion of progressive ideas like this and if elected will do everything within her power to make sure that it is adopted in the Commonwealth of Virginia.