The Sierra Club’s number one priority nationally and in Virginia is climate change and clean energy. While we work on a wide range of issues, many do relate to that number one priority. Most of our conservation issues fall into six categories under our overarching Climate Recovery Partnership Campaign.
In Virginia, the special challenge of having a Governor and Attorney General who are climate change deniers has prompted us to establish a cross cutting campaign aimed at holding both McDonnell and Cuccinelli accountable. Among the many issues listed, our current top priorities in Virginia are promoting offshore wind power and stopping offshore drilling, stopping the ODEC coal plant, fighting for the Chesapeake Bay and stopping the McDonnell/Cuccinelli assault on the environment. Below is a list of most of the issues and campaigns that occupy the time of our volunteers and staff.
McDonnell/Cuccinelli Accountability and Cross-cutting Campaigns
• Mount a pro-active campaign to challenge Governor McDonnell’s and Attorney General Cuccinelli’s positions and actions that undermine environmental protections.
• Hold McDonnell and Cuccinelli accountable to demonstrate their views are out of step with most Virginians. We will work in coalition with other groups on other issues where McDonnell and Cuccinelli are also out of step with Virginians.
• Stop the ODEC Coal Plant from being constructed, working with the Wise Energy Coalition
• Keep Ison Rock Ridge Standing – Stop this mountaintop removal mine and others in Virginia, working with Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and others
• Close down and start gradual phase out of old dirty coal plants like Mirant in Arlington
• Coal Free Campus – We have a Green Corps organizer based at University of Virginia in Charlottesville this semester working with students to stop the use of coal on
the UVA campus.
Clean Energy Solutions
• Support offshore wind, aiming for a ground breaking in Virginia waters within five years
• Support 30 percent efficiency in new home construction in National Building Code
• Cool Cities
• Work with the Communication Workers of America through the Blue-Green Alliance to promote broadband upgrades to rural Virginia that support smart metering, telecommuting and other environmental initiatives
Beyond Oil/Green Transportation
• Oppose offshore drilling for oil and gas off Virginia’s coast
• Sustainable DC – Getting public transportation infrastructure and smart growth development in place such that we will begin reducing vehicle miles (VMTs) traveled
in Metro D.C. within 10 years
• Develop a Virginia Transportation Vision Plan with projects we support to reduce our dependence on oil and begin to reduce VMTs by 2020.
• Fight for the Chesapeake Bay – Campaigns directed at public education and administrative advocacy, legislative action and electoral efforts to clean up the bay and hold public officials accountable for their actions on the bay.
• George Washington National Forest Plan Revision – Using the National Environmental Policy Act and Forest Planning Process through December 2011 to convince the U.S. Forest Service to adopt a forest plan that phases out commercial timber sales within ten years in favor of forest restoration, climate adaptation and low impact recreation.
• Oppose Outlying Landing Field in southside Virginia Safeguarding Communities
• Hopewell Clean Air Network- Our goal is to achieve a net reduction in toxic air emissions over the next two years
• Oppose Uranium mining – Not permit uranium mining to start in Virginia.
• Support Fort Monroe National Park in Hampton
• Oppose hydro-fracking for natural gas where contamination of ground and surface waters is a possibility
Federal Action on Climate and Clean Energy
• Actively support U.S, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from major sources like power plants starting in January 2011
• Oppose Congressional efforts to delay or undermine EPA actions against climate change and coal
• Pass comprehensive federal legislation on climate and clean energy as soon as possible