Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter: Lots More Work to Do in 2023

As part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, Dominion Energy must generate all electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. (Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND — The Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter said it has spent the past year working toward climate solutions to benefit everyone in the state, and the work is far from over.

Specifically, they have worked as a group to protect clean energy standards and maintain the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

Tim Cywinski, communications manager for the club, said in the new year, they do not want to see Virginians facing high energy-cost burdens from oil and gas companies. He sees the state’s chief executive as one of the group’s chief concerns.

“The biggest obstacle that comes to mind is Gov. Youngkin,” Cywinski asserted. “He is on the ‘other side’ of the environmental and climate issues. He is more friendly to polluters, and wants to push for a ‘pro-polluter’ agenda. So, we’re trying to make sure that the policies that he pushes for, that are regressive, don’t go unanswered.”

Cywinski is referring in part to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s decision to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a move the Sierra Club strongly opposes.

Cywinski pointed out some other major battles the club waged in 2022 were to put a halt to large, gas-fired power plants.

With 2023 on the horizon, Cywinski noted the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter is ready to hit the ground running on several issues. One focus is to keep Virginia at the forefront of the South’s climate change battle, which means keeping politicians in line with green policies, and stopping projects which pollute the environment.

Cywinski emphasized many of the goals are similar to what they had in 2022.

“The struggle is the same,” Cywinski acknowledged. “The items of it look different every year, but at the end of the day, we look forward to working on building a just system that makes sure that it benefits everyone.”

He added other goals include slowing the growth of pipeline projects, and helping the state better dispose of plastic waste.

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