Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Strong Environmental Record

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Strong Environmental Record

The June 1 letter [“Who Will Best Lead Virginia?” Alexandria Gazette Packet] asserted that Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam “freely advocates for fracking, drilling in the Atlantic and letting Dominion Power have the major say in the state’s energy and environmental policies.” This is patently false on all counts.

Ralph Northam actively opposes fracking because he doesn’t think it can be done safely. He’s publicly held that position for years.

As for offshore drilling, Northam was the first statewide Virginia official to oppose offshore drilling. He has been opposed to offshore drilling since he was a state senator.

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam has one of the strongest records on the environment and renewable energy of any Democratic candidate for governor in recent memory. He carried legislation to establish mandatory energy efficiency standards for electric utilities (like Dominion), and he cosponsored legislation to eliminate the ability for utilities to recover revenue lost as a result of implementing energy efficiency programs. He also fought to crack down on utilities that game Virginia's renewable energy incentives, and he carried legislation directing the state to develop a plan to enact a mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard.

Ralph Northam has been fighting in the trenches since 2007. He secured funding to study strategies to address rising sea levels in Virginia, helped write a law banning the use of phosphorous in home fertilizers to reduce chemical runoff in the Chesapeake Bay, and helped block efforts to weaken wetlands protection, reduce transparency in water quality decisions, and he’s fought against lifting Virginia’s ban on uranium mining.

On Tuesday, June 13, I’ll be pulling the lever for the Virginia Democrat who’s been in the arena, who has been striving valiantly to protect our environment, and who knows there is still much work to be done. There’s no question that Virginia Democrat is Ralph Northam.

John Grant