Home Climate change McEachin’s Legacy Deserves McClellan’s Proven Climate Record

McEachin’s Legacy Deserves McClellan’s Proven Climate Record


by Glen Besa

The passing of the late Rep. A. Donald McEachin has left those of us involved in the climate and environmental movement in Virginia with big shoes to fill.  As a 4th District constituent and environmental advocate who interacted with the Congressman throughout his long career of public service, my own sense of loss is palpable.     

Rep. McEachin, from his days in the General Assembly, championed solutions to the climate crisis. In 2016, then State Senator McEachin was the first to introduce legislation for Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He was opposing Governor Youngkin’s illegal removal process until the end. His work in Congress championing the Environmental Justice for All Act was the biggest step in the right direction toward correcting decades of racist and purposeful pollution that Congress has ever seen. 

Climate change, environmental remediation, and environmental justice are long ignored concerns that Rep. McEachin pushed hard to address. Those that interacted with him saw the true passion he had for these issues. He spoke of them often.   

In the “firehouse primary” to select the Democratic nominee in the special election in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, those who care about climate change, climate justice, and the future of the planet have an exceptional candidate in State Senator Jennifer McClellan. 

Oher candidates that have entered this race are proudly listed by fossil fuel gas company TC Energy on their website, endorsing a pipeline expansion project that will bring more fossil gas through our communities and increase the emissions that come out of a compressor station near Petersburg. The climate crisis and climate emergency are real, and State Senator Jennifer McClellan is the candidate in this race that recognizes it. 

In the Virginia General Assembly, the planet has had no better friend over the past several years. McClellan’s work to craft, sponsor, and pass the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the South’s first 100% clean energy mandate, is regarded as ground breaking. It was Jennifer McClellan who finally took on the utilities to lift the cap on solar energy in Virginia – allowing Virginians to get clean energy at fair prices. It was Jennifer McClellan who got a bill passed to change Virginia’s archaic laws around gas infrastructure so that projects finally account for water quality and erosion

Respecting Congressman Donald McEachin’s legacy means sending the best champion we can to Congress. Democrats in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District should head to the 8 polling locations on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 for the “firehouse primary” and choose Jennifer McClellan. 

Jennifer McClellan for Congress. Learn more here: https://jennifermcclellan.com/issue/climate-action-and-environmental-justice/

Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, and are not intended to reflect the opinion or the positions of any organizations with which he may be associated.


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