The following letter has been sent to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, inviting him to join with tens of thousands of others in New York City this Sunday for the People’s Climate March.
September 18, 2014
The Honorable Terry McAuliffe
Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218
Dear Governor McAuliffe:
As you are well aware, climate change is a crisis that requires urgent and effective action. Earlier this year, the authoritative National Climate Assessment (NCA) found “unambiguous” evidence that human activities – particularly the burning of coal, oil and natural gas – are causing climate change. And, although it might feel cool and pleasant in Virginia right now, according to data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, last month was the hottest ever recorded worldwide. Clearly, with the threat of surging seas on the Virginia coast, stronger storms, more intense heat waves, and many other problems, this is an issue we no longer have the luxury of ignoring.
Fortunately, we are starting to see action. In June, as you know, the Environmental Protection Agency issued much-needed draft rules on carbon pollution, rules that will require Virginia and other states to develop compliance plans in coming months. This represents a tremendous economic opportunity for states like Virginia, with its abundant offshore wind resources, and tremendous opportunities for energy efficiency, distributed solar power and cleantech innovation generally. We presume that we are preaching to the converted on this, as your own 2009 gubernatorial campaign’s energy plan laid out a vision for requiring Virginia power companies to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. The fact is, from a business and economic perspective, this is a win-win-win proposition for Virginia and for the country as a whole. As your friend, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recently argued, ”If we come together to make the hard choices, the smart investment in infrastructure, technology and environmental protection, America can be the clean energy superpower for the 21st century.” We couldn’t agree more.
In addition to action by government agencies and politicians, we are also excited to see a powerful grassroots movement pushing for immediate action to combat global warming. A superb example of this will take place on Sunday, September 21 in New York City, with the largest climate march in history — tens of thousands of people participating in the People’s Climate March. This historic event will include representatives from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, the Virginia Tech University Environmental Coalition, the Sierra Club, 350.org, and many others.
Given that you will be in New York this weekend, we invite you to join us at the march. You can show true leadership and add your voice as we demand immediate, strong action to combat climate change. As Hillary Clinton explained earlier this month, global warming constitutes “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face.” She’s absolutely right, of course. Now it’s time for action.
Thank you very much.
Alliance for Progressive Values
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Climate Action Alliance of the Valley
Climate Action Society at the University of Virginia
Coalition for Smarter Growth
eNRG – Energizing Renewable Growth in Holston Valley
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
James Madison University Earth Club
Organizing for Action VA
Old Dominion University EcoReps
Old Dominion University Social Entrepreneurs Council
Old Dominion Environmental Health and Safety Department
Our Task, Inc.
People’s Climate March Students of the College of William and Mary
Piedmont Environmental Council
Sierra Club Mt Vernon Group
Sierra Club Shenandoah Group
Sierra Club Virginia Chapter
Sierra Club Great Falls Group
Sierra Club York River Group
VCU Environmental Coalition
Virginia Student Environmental Coalition