2021 Legislation That Needs Your Support

Dear Climate Friend:

As you know, the Virginia General Assembly is now in session.  

CAAV’s Legislation and Elections committee has identified three climate-friendly bills that, if enacted, would make a difference.  Below is a very brief summary of each one.

Please contact your Delegate and Senator, and urge them to support these bills.  And please act quickly.  The GA is moving rapidly through a great many bills.  If you need the name and contact information for your Delegate and/or Senator, click here:

https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

1)  HB 1965–the Clean Cars bill.  Allows State Air Pollution Control Board to establish ZEV (zero emissions vehicles) mandate beginning with 2025 vehicles

1) Environmental benefits – 48% of VA’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the transportation sector. More LEV and ZEV vehicles will help reduce this pollution. 

2) More ZEV options – Currently many dealerships in VA do not offer ZEVs because they do not want to or because they cannot get them. This law would be a signal to the manufacturers that VA is serious about ZEVs and they will send more ZEVs to VA to be sold.

3) Support the growing clean energy economy – More ZEVs on the road means VA will need to build more EV charging stations and hire more EV technicians, generating good-paying jobs for Virginians. 

4) Increase demand for clean electricity – as more ZEVs are deployed, consumer awareness of the source of their electricity will grow, and consumers will want the utilities to provide them with cleaner electricity.

5) Long lead time – the 2025 implementation gives dealerships ample time to prepare for this transition.

2) HB 1979 EV Rebate bill

1) A state rebate of $2500 will reduce the upfront cost of a new or used EV.

2) This rebate will provide an additional $2,000 to low income Virginians, promoting equity.

3) Cash on the hood rebate reduces the final purchase or lease price of the EV.

3) HB 2215, patron Chris Runion

This bill extends the small agricultural generator benefits to businesses that sell Virginia agricultural products, businesses like wineries, breweries, distilleries, and farm markets.  Originally, only farmers growing crops and raising farm animals were eligible for small agricultural generator benefits.

Letter to Mark Herring & Next Steps

Earlier this month, CAAV signed onto a letter to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring:

Dear Attorney General Herring,

Thank you for standing up to protect our Commonwealth from the current administration’s attempts to erode our democracy and pollute our environment. In July you filed a lawsuit to challenge the current administration’s undermining of the Clean Water Act. Now we need you to protect Virginia’s water and endangered species at risk within our borders by considering taking the following actions:

● Suing the Trump administration for rolling back the protections Congress passed in the Endangered Species Act.

● Providing guidance to the State Water Control Board to add the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) update to their September 24 meeting agenda. The board needs to address MVP’s pollution of Virginia waterways that provide habitat for endangered fish. It is the board’s responsibility to enforce the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act regulations.

See the complete letter as a pdf here.


Freeda Cathcart, Leader for the Gas And Pipeline Coalition, who helped organize this effort sent this follow-up on September 21, 2020:

“Thank you for signing onto the letter for AG Mark Herring. Thirty-three organizations signed the letter, representing over 335,000 people! 

It’s already bringing results! I received confirmation today that it has been forwarded to the State Water Control Board. Previously the staff at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality had ignored repeated requests for information about MVP’s continuing pollution of the waterways that are the habitat for endangered fish to be forwarded to the board. 

The next step is an easy one thanks to Mothers Out Front’s portal for individuals to be able to send an email directly to the State Water Control BoardIt only takes a couple of minutes and people can add to or change the suggested text. Please use this social media post to encourage others to sign and share. 

Working together we will defeat the Mountain Valley Pipeline while protecting our water and endangered species!”

From Mother Out Front – Roanoke and New River Valley:

It’s easy to send an email to the State Water Control Board to demand they protect our water and endangered fish from MVP’s continuing pollution. Just click on this link to a portal that will generate one for you:
http://va.mothersoutfront.org/tell_virginia_department_of_environmental_quality_to_protect_our_water_and_public_health

CAAV Endorses Sally Newkirk for SVEC Board

Sally Newkirk is running for a seat on the SVEC board.

The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley endorses Sally Newkirk’s bid for a seat on the board of the Shenandoah Valley Electric Co-op (SVEC). A 27-year Shenandoah Valley resident, Sally will work to expand SVEC’s use of renewable energy, bring reliable broadband to the many residents of our area who lack it, and will work to help residents who are having trouble paying their electric bill.

Co-op members will have the opportunity to vote for Sally through ballots received in the mail. These can be mailed in or recorded online. In the meantime, you can learn more about Sally by visiting her website: newkirkforsvec.com. You can also follow her on Facebook here.

Elizabeth McGowan covered this election for the Energy News Network on July 15, 2020: Virginia co-op board challengers aim to nudge utilities forward on clean energy

Black Lives Matter Resolution

At their June 16, 2020, meeting, the steering committee of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley voted unanimously in favor of supporting Black Lives Matter with this resolution:

Resolved that the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley stands in support of Black Lives Matter, that we support a redirection of tax dollars away from policies that enable police brutality, and toward policies that meet community needs and link environmental and social justice.