Press Release

Virginia state lawmakers call on U.S. Senate to pass climate reconciliation bill

Fourteen state senators and 29 delegates send letter to Sens. Kaine and Warner

CONTACT:

Chelsea Barnes, (614) 205-6424, chelsea@appvoices.org

RICHMOND, VA – Today 43 Virginia state lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in support of a strong budget reconciliation package that invests $555 billion in climate and clean energy. The Senate failed to pass the $2 trillion version passed by the House in November 2021. Since that time, Sen. Manchin (D-WV), who blocked the House version, has expressed support for a narrower, climate- and inflation-focused bill, and the Senate is actively negotiating a new budget reconciliation package.

“We hope that Congress acts boldly and invests in America to build a clean, prosperous, and equitable economy, and avert the worst impacts of climate change,” the letter states. “We appreciate your leadership in enacting the $555 billion climate and clean energy reconciliation package that would do so much to help the Commonwealth in terms of energy security and jobs.”

Virginia faces significant negative impacts from climate change, with coastal areas already experiencing rising sea levels, and projections indicating that sea level rise could be as much as 6.69 feet in Norfolk between 2000 and 2100. Appalachian regions of Virginia face higher risk of flooding, forest fires, droughts, and habitat loss. The climate provisions in the $555 billion climate bill will help Virginia and other states meet its climate goals, while also creating jobs in the state.

“These investments support high-quality jobs while accomplishing our climate goals,” notes the letter. “The inclusion of robust clean technology manufacturing provisions secures and creates good domestic manufacturing jobs and makes our country more energy independent.”

The letter comes after dozens of Appalachian groups, including many based in Virginia, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and President Biden urging Congress to enact the $555 billion climate spending package with provisions to help coal-impacted communities and others improve their economies.

“Prioritizing and targeting federal resources to workers and communities in places impacted by this shift, like Southwest Virginia, is a deliberate choice,” the lawmakers state. “We hope that the budget reconciliation package includes major investments in workers and communities experiencing the economic impacts of energy transition.”

List of signatories to the letter

Delegate Dawn Adams
Senator George L. Barker
Senator John Bell
Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker
Delegate Jeff Bourne
Delegate David Bulova
Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler
Senator Creigh Deeds
Senator John Edwards
Senator Barbara Favola
Delegate Jackie Hope Glass
Delegate Wendy Gooditis
Delegate Elizabeth Guzman
Senator Ghazala F. Hashmi
Delegate Dan Helmer
Delegate Patrick A. Hope
Delegate Sally Hudson
Delegate Mark Keam
Delegate Kay Kory
Delegate Paul Krizek
Senator Lynwood Lewis
Delegate Alfonso Lopez
Delegate Michelle Maldonado
Senator Dave Marsden
Senator T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason
Senator Jennifer McClellan
Senator Jeremy McPike
Senator Joseph D. Morrissey
Delegate Candi Mundon King
Senator Chap Petersen
Delegate Sam Rasoul
Delegate Don L. Scott, Jr.
Delegate Briana Sewell
Delegate Irene Shin
Delegate Mark Sickles
Delegate Marcus Simon
Delegate Shelly Simonds
Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr.
Delegate Suhas Subramanyam
Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr.
Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg
Delegate Rodney Willett
Delegate Angelia Williams Graves

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Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

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