FACS Activists Respond to Youngkin on Andrew Wheeler and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
FACS is nonpartisan. Republicans and Democrats have participated in our Climate Crisis Forums. But Gov. Youngkin’s nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be the Sec. of Natural Resources was too dangerous to climate progress in the Commonwealth to ignore.
Our call to supporters to email their senator was met with a large response. FACS climate activists sent 330+ emails to their Northern Virginia senators, plus an additional 31 emails to Sen. Chap Petersen by constituents over a weekend when it appeared he was wavering. Wheeler’s nomination later was stopped in the Senate.
FACS teams also held meetings with six NOVA senators or their staff to ask that they defend the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Virginia joined RGGI in 2020, and former Majority Leader Charniele Herring appeared at the 2020 Climate Crisis Forum to talk about how it takes us closer to realizing healthy and sustainable communities. So far, despite Gov. Youngkin’s opposition, RGGI is still the law of the land.
Our support of Sen. Petersen’s bill to prevent regulated utilities from making campaign contributions didn’t help the bill to move forward. It died in subcommittee. Two energy efficiency bills that FACS supported, SB 452 and HB 701, that would have asked the Board of Housing and Community Development to create an optional standard tougher than the state building code, were also defeated. Finally, we also supported Del Bulova’s HB 443 to allow local authorities to set up EV charging stations. That passed by a wide margin in the HOD is now likely to pass the senate.
— Scott Peterson