July 7th, 2021
The Honorable Mark Warner The Honorable Tim Kaine
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
703 Hart Senate Office Building 231 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
For more information contact: Mike Tidwell, Executive Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and CCAN Action Fund, 240-460-5838, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Senators Warner and Kaine,
As leaders of advocacy groups from across Virginia, we urge you to support the American Jobs Plan, including all the climate provisions proposed by President Joe Biden. The President has called the American Jobs Plan “a blue collar blueprint to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out.” The Plan also includes dramatic initiatives to reduce US greenhouse gas pollution.
We believe any infrastructure package that does not fundamentally address the climate crisis is wholly inadequate. Fourteen of your Senate colleagues have already echoed the sentiment of “no climate, no deal.” We urge you to join them. While a bipartisan infrastructure deal appears to be moving forward, Congress should not back away from the unprecedented, bold climate investments of the American Jobs Plan.
The devastating cost of climate change is coming due in Virginia. Hotter weather is costing Virginia schools an additional $250 million in unavoidable air conditioning expenses. Between now and 2040, sea level rise will cost the state more than $30 billion. We can mitigate these costly disasters and create millions of good jobs in the process. Already the renewable energy industry employs more than twice the number of people who work in the fossil fuel industry. Requiring 80% clean electricity by 2030, as the President has proposed, will create hundreds of thousands of additional clean jobs.
Eighty one percent of registered voters in Virginia support the American Jobs Plan. And our state is already leading on this issue through passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act and other recent clean energy and climate action policies. We are laying the groundwork for the mass adoption of electric vehicles and a broad buildout of wind and solar energy. We are also committed to a just transition for fossil fuel workers and equity for disadvantaged communities – those on the frontlines of the climate crisis and harmful pollution.
But we cannot finish the clean energy revolution in Virginia without full passage of the American Jobs Plan. State-level action alone is not sufficient to address the climate crisis. With carbon dioxide levels recently reaching their highest peak in 4 million years, we need federal leadership on climate and we need it urgently.
Congress is quickly running out of time to pass this critical infrastructure and climate legislation. Please support the full scope of the American Jobs Plan on behalf of all Virginians.
Sincerely, the undersigned:
Kim Jemaine, Virginia Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and CCAN Action Fund
Michael Town, Executive Director, Virginia League of Conservation Voters
Joe Brancoli, Chair, Sierra Club VA Chapter
Tom Cormons, Executive Director, Appalachian Voices
JoAnne St. Clair, Chair, CLIMATE ACTION ALLIANCE OF THE VALLEY
Faith B Harris, Co-Director, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light
Brennan Gilmore, Executive Director, Clean Virginia
Elly Boehmer, State Director, Environment Virginia
Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper Network
Tiziana Bottino, Virginia Senior Organizer, Mothers Out Front Virginia
Samantha Ahdoot, MD, Chair, Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action
Natalie Pien, President, Loudoun Climate Project & Co-Chair, Earth Justice Team, Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun
Helene Shore, CoFounder, CoChair, 350Fairfax
Emily Little, Co chair, Cville100
Dan Crawford, Chair, Roanoke Group, Sierra Club
Tiziana Bottino, Executive Director, The Greater Prince William Climate Action Network
Rebecca Daly, Leader, Our Revolution South Central Virginia
Cynthia Munley, Director, Preserve Salem
Sharon Shutler, Chair, Climate & Clean Energy Working Group, Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Chris LeMenestrel, Co-lead, Virginia Democracy Forward (VADF)
Elijah Perry, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic
Matt Royer, Co-Chair , Virginia Justice Democrats
Kathie Hoekstra, CoChair, Alexandria 350