Virginia voters deliver big wins for climate action and clean energy
An encouraging environmental road map for North Carolina emerged as Virginia voted. Voters delivered huge wins for climate action and clean energy in last week’s voting for their state legislators. In a major rebuke of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia voters installed Democratic majorities in both chambers of its state legislature. Youngkin tried to pull his state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and roll back other clean energy initiatives.
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VLCV) released a statement cheering these results. Michael Town, VLCV’s Executive Director, said “voters sent a clear message: they want to see a Virginia that works for them, not big, corporate polluters. With a conservation majority headed to the General Assembly we have the opportunity to continue pushing forward policies that protect clean air and water, address the climate crisis, grow the green economy, protect communities, and make Virginians’ lives better.”
These results demonstrate the importance of climate and clean energy issues. In their release, VLCV pointed to the $2.75 million invested by its Political Action Committee and the national League of Conservation Voters. These donations helped elect environmental champions in key swing legislative contests.
Additionally, other analysts detailed the most critical climate, energy, and environmental issues at stake in Virginia this election. Under previous Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia embarked on policies including adopting vehicle emission controls, promoting the transition to electric vehicles. Additionally, Virginia adopted policies to develop offshore wind energy, and enrolling Virginia in the RGGI. These efforts help control climate-changing carbon emissions. Youngkin was attempting to dismantle all those efforts.
Furthermore, Kevin Curtis, executive director of the NRDC Action Fund, agreed climate voters helped shape the outcome. He said, “We’re proud that Virginia voters turned out and stood up to protect common sense policies that are cleaning up our air and water, growing jobs and helping to fight climate change.”
Finally, the results in Virginia’s off-year elections often serve as a bellwether for results in national elections. Thus, their election of a pro-conservation majority legislature is not just immediate good news for climate action efforts. It’s an encouraging road map for effective efforts in North Carolina and beyond. Give today to help us elect environmental leaders!