To the Editor:
Virginia’s transition to clean energy is now underway. On Tuesday, June 28, Governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order to create a workgroup that will spend the next year determining how to reduce Virginia’s carbon emissions. This important first step will go forward in spite of opposition delaying President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, making Virginia a key leader in combating climate change.
Having lived in northern Virginia all my life, I am proud to see our state standing up for the environment. Those living in Norfolk and Tangier Island are already struggling with rising sea levels, and Richmond has been named an Asthma Capital by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Across the state, myself and other asthma patients, today’s children, and the elderly have and will continue to be particularly hurt by the effects of climate change. The action Governor McAuliffe took yesterday benefits us all.
But the path toward cleaner energy we’ve started on could still veer off in the wrong direction. It is vital that we encourage Governor McAuliffe to ensure that the Virginia power plan truly helps create a healthier environment for our families. Carbon emissions should be reduced by improving energy efficiency and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources. Contrary to what fossil fuel lobbyists insist, natural gas is not the solution we need due to its emissions.
I hope to see our state focus on wind and solar power as we go forward, not only for our own benefit, but for the sake of the example we will set for the rest of the country. As a recent high school graduate, I will be working with Environment Virginia this summer to focus on this cause. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer opportunities to join me.