Conservation Lobby Day 2014

Sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network

Report by Cathy Strickler, January 27, 2014, Richmond VA

Laura and Bishop Dansby, Doug Hendren, Joy Loving, Charlie and I attended.

We met with the aide of Sen. Obenshain and the aide of Del. Landes. Three of us met with the aide of Del. Wilt and three met with Sen. Hanger. We left information at all offices including CAAV’s handout “Climate Disruption: Virginia at Risk.”

We urged them to support:

SB 498/HB 882 – strengthens the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard)

SB 418/HB 1239 – eliminates the solar machinery and tools tax.

We urged them to vote against SB615 that cripples the EPA’s effectiveness in VA. And HB 915 that makes fracking permits easier to obtain.

We emphasized these bills at the direction of the VCN staff.

At lunch we heard Molly Ward, Secretary of Natural Resources speak.

  • Evan Feinman is her assistant, the Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, and has a history in energy. .
  • Water quality is the first focus of her office.
  • She wants to have a Climate Task Force.
  • She wants an open door policy, to take risks and be creative.
  • She plans to ‘dust off’ Kaine’s Commission on Climate Change report and implement it

Chelsea Harnish of VCN said they have two asks of this administration:
1. Appoint a Senior adviser on climate
2. Implement the CC Commission Report

Kate Rooth, Campaign Director for Appalachian Voices, talked in detail about Dominion Power and Virginia’s energy plan. Appalachian Voices has an alternative plan at NewPowerforVA.org.

As of halfway through the legislative session, we've seen some positive outcomes.

As of halfway through the legislative session, we’ve seen some positive outcomes.

At noon, approximately 40 of us, holding miniature wind turbines, lined the walk on both sides handing out literature to legislators as they went from the General Assembly building to the capitol.

At 3 PM we marched and chanted for Climate Action around the capitol and Governor’s mansion. One new song that is worth learning is Bella Ciao with Climate Change lyrics. It is on you tube. One well-produced version with Flemish musicians is here. A version with lyrics is here.

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