Keeping an eye on Virginia’s strategy for clean energy may help with the 2024 election.
NCLCV’s sister state affiliate of the conservation voter movement, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VLCV), has launched a $2 million effort to help elect clean energy supporters to that state’s legislature this fall.
Virginia is one of a few states to hold its state elections in odd-numbered years. As such, it often serves as an early bellwether for the broader battles of the following presidential election cycle.
Virginia has been a political battleground for environmental and energy policies since the upset wins by a governor, other statewide officials, and legislators anxious to reverse the clean-energy policies of their predecessors. The fights have threatened Virginia’s support for offshore wind energy and its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) pact to fight climate change.
The state’s legislature is divided, with the Senate narrowly under Democratic control and the House narrowly Republican-controlled. The 2023 elections will decide control of both chambers.
“Results in November will shape the trajectory of climate action and environmental protection through the next Gubernatorial and House of Delegates elections in 2025,” read VLCV’s news release last week. “The $2 million, multi-faceted campaign will help elect environmental leaders to the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia who are committed to protecting clean air and water, building a clean energy economy, and working toward a clean energy future, while holding Governor Youngkin’s extreme, anti-environmental MAGA agenda at bay for the remainder of his term.”
“We need strong environmental leadership now more than ever in Virginia, and we’re all-in to restore the Conservation Majority at the General Assembly,” said Michael Town, Executive Director of Virginia LCV. “Governor Youngkin and his extreme allies up and down the ticket have one thing in common: they want to dismantle the progress we’ve made in Virginia and put big polluters’ interests above what’s best for our Commonwealth. We refuse to let that happen, which is why we’re mounting our largest legislative electoral campaign to-date to send environmental leaders to Richmond.”
The campaign features independent mail and digital programs in targeted districts, as well as canvassing and other outreach efforts in direct support of endorsed candidates.
Environmental advocates in North Carolina will be watching our northern neighbor for strategies and arguments which may work in our own critical campaigns in 2024.