Labor and Environmental Groups Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Accelerate Offshore Wind

USW-OSW[Norfolk, VA – Old Dominion University] – In support of the Virginia Energy Council’s updating of the Virginia Energy Plan, representatives with the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter offered the following joint statement:

“With the potential for ten thousand good paying, local, family-supporting jobs in Virginia’s offshore wind industry, Governor McAuliffe should adopt a Virginia Energy Plan that endorses offshore wind and the port improvements needed to make it happen,” said William Harriday, staff representative for United Steelworkers. “Steel working, shipbuilding, construction, forging, and manufacturing are all jobs employed with offshore wind development.”

“Governor McAuliffe has made it clear that job creation is his number one priority, and with offshore wind energy he can create those jobs and an entire new industry in Virginia at the same time he is tackling climate change and sea level rise with clean energy technology,” said Glen Besa, director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter. “However, the governor really needs to push Dominion Virginia Power to make a firm commitment to develop offshore wind. The Virginia Energy Plan provides Governor McAuliffe with an opportunity to endorse offshore wind and outline how we get it done. The Energy Plan must also reflect the targets set by the EPA for carbon reduction, and renewable energy development especially from offshore wind, offers the best path forward to meeting those goals.”

To date, Dominion continues to express uncertainty about the project even though the utility has exclusive rights to develop offshore wind off the coast of Virginia.

About the Author

Eileen is the Virginia Conservation Program Manager with the Virginia Chapter Sierra Club.