We are about to go to the polls to choose Ralph Northam or Ed Gillespie as our next governor. It’s an election that’s being closely watched by the entire country, and is arguably the most important state election of our lifetime – not just because it’s been called the first real bellwether of the U.S. political climate since the 2016 presidential election, but also because it will have a lasting and serious effect on our actual climate.
Are we going to vote for Virginia’s greenhouse emissions to rise unchecked? Or for Virginia to move toward clean renewable energy? That’s what we’re looking at in this election, and the effects will be felt in our state for much longer than the duration of the next governor’s term.
Panic setting in? Me too.
What can we do? There are a few last minute “get out the vote” efforts we can all make, so let’s get moving. Read on to see what you can do, TODAY, to help our state move toward a clean, renewable energy future.
First of all, make sure your friends and neighbors know these few simple truths, starting with this big one: On climate change, the most important issue of our time, Northam is by far the better choice. Not perfect by any means, but way better.
WASHINGTON , DC - SEPTEMBER 19: Gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie shake hands prior to debate in Washington, DC on September 19, 2017. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)
Here are a few reasons why Northam should be the clear choice for Virginia voters who care about their children’s future:
Most importantly, Northam supports Governor McAuliffe’s order for state agencies to draw up regulations to limit carbon emissions and joining a state climate alliance in the face of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. Gillespie opposes both measures.
Northam is also the first Democratic candidate for governor to oppose offshore drilling, which Gillespie supports.
They both support the pipelines, which isn’t good, but at least Northam says he’d like more transparency in the process, and if he’s elected, he’s obviously more open to hearing environmentalists’ arguments simply because he’s the more moderate candidate on this issue. This was borne out in the environmental town hall meetings held this summer by FACS. Northam attended a packed meeting and did an extensive Q&A; Gillespie grudgingly offered up a staffer for a Skype call-in.
Bottom line, if Gillespie is elected, any progress on climate that VA has made will either be stalled or undone. Fossil fuel infrastructure will be rubber stamped in Virginia, locking us into many years of status quo as Dominion makes long term commitments to fracked natural gas.
Instead, Northam gives us a fighting chance to make Virginia a state that can support renewable energy like its neighbors do – mainly because he’d be more likely to listen.
Sure, anyone who’s involved in environmental and climate issues in VA knows Northam isn’t perfect. But let’s not have a replay of the 2016 presidential election, letting the finer points allow us to be blinded to the big picture. If we elect someone who will surely be impossible to work with, we’ll be moving backward for four straight years, and putting policies in place that will take many more years to undo.
When it comes to the climate, we simply don’t have that kind of time.
Today, you can help get out the vote by doing three things:
Talk to your friends and neighbors and share this article on social media.
Why: Because now, more than ever, the future of our climate will be decided at the state and local levels.
What else: If you have any problems on Election Day, you can call this voter helpline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The helpline is led by the nonpartisan Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
We have the power to change the country. With enough grassroots pressure, we can stop dangerous fossil fuel projects, slow climate change, and create a clean energy revolution in Virginia. Make a plan to vote tomorrow, November 7, and vote for every office on the ballot.
Now let’s get out there, people, and for the sake of our children’s future in Virginia (and on this planet), let’s win!
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This is Who I’m Fighting For:
Standing Up for a Stable Climate and a Clean Energy Future for My Kids