Gov. McAuliffe’s Smart Climate Move Shows Clean Energy Can’t Wait

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today formally assigned the state Secretary of Natural Resources to lead a state plan to reduce carbon pollution and increase clean energy.

Walton Shepherd, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who works on Virginia energy issues, and a member of the state’s Clean Power Plan Stakeholder Group, issued this statement:

“Governor McAuliffe’s smart move keeps climate action on the front burner—exactly where it belongs—because clean energy can’t wait. Climate change already threatens to flood the Tidewater area, worsen Virginia’s air quality and jeopardize our health and economy. Clean energy is a key solution that will protect Virginians from that harm while building a new Virginia economy.

“Now the governor has a tremendous opportunity: Nothing stands in the way of Virginia drafting plans to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and expand renewable energy. That’ll put it well on the road to meeting the climate-protecting goals of the Clean Power Plan when it’s upheld by the courts. Gov. McAuliffe’s continued leadership, at this critical time, can ensure a safe and prosperous future for all Virginians.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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