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Virginia gubernatorial candidates battling for climate change proposals

April 09, 2021

Patch Virginia:

With early voting beginning later this month in the gubernatorial primary, candidates for Virginia’s highest political office are already off to the races. As candidates work to carve out a niche for themselves among the crowded field, they are turning to climate change to make their boldest proposals.

A few weeks ago, my organization, Food & Water Watch, was proud to co-sponsor one of the first debates between candidates, the Virginia People’s Debates. All Democratic candidates for the role, save one, came to speak candidly on their policies, using the opportunity to speak to engaged constituents about the greatest converging existential threats of our time: climate change and environmental justice.

In a refreshing departure from previous administrations, all the candidates that came to the event pledged not to accept any campaign donations (direct or indirect) from Dominion Energy or any other state regulated corporations. All candidates also pledged to support a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and to halt new permits for pending fossil fuel projects.

These bold commitments dovetail nicely with recent headlines about fossil fuel companies’ financial and legal battles. Virginia Natural Gas withdrew their Interconnect pipeline proposal one week, and then sued C4GT over another fossil fuel infrastructure project the next. While fossil fuel companies fight amongst themselves, the financial viability of their work continues to decline. A March study from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found that the financial rationale for yet another pipeline project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, has all but evaporated. 

[Jolene Mafnas]

More: Virginia’s Next Governor Must Be A Climate Champion

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