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Virginia Is for (Planet Earth) Lovers: Congressmen Demand Climate Change Action

(Washington, DC) – Environment Virginia launched a new online video campaign  to encourage Virginians concerned about global warming to tell the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act on climate. The video features exclusive interviews with U.S. Congressmen Gerry Connolly (VA-11) and Jim Moran (VA-8), who say they’re prioritizing tackling  climate change and Virginia would benefit from implementing climate solutions, like cutting carbon pollution and investing in clean energy.

The video comes in the midst of the EPA’s public comment period for the proposed standard to limit the carbon pollution fueling global warming from new power plants. Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran explain why they support the EPA’s proposed new rule and ask citizens to make a supportive comment before the public comment period closes on March 10.

“If we want a safer climate and future for our kids, we can’t keep letting dirty power plants pollute,” said Madison Poche of Environment  Virginia. “This video is a call for thousands of Virginians to come together and say: No new dirty power plants.”

“Sea level rise in Hampton Roads impacts Virginia’s largest employer, the U.S. Navy,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly of Fairfax, who sits on the U.S. House Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Oversight and  Government Reform. In the full interview, he continued, “The commonwealth has practical, economic reasons to be concerned about climate change.”

“Not only does coal’s toxic elements impact our drinking water here in Virginia,” said Congressman Jim Moran, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee and represents Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church, “but if we don’t limit carbon from our power plants, severe weather events will become all the more frequent and seas will continue to rise.”

A recent report from Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center found that power plants emit 40 percent of the nation’s carbon pollution and are the nation’s largest the single-largest source of the pollution fueling climate change.

Both Congressmen have long histories of standing up for environmental  issues. As Chair of the Fairfax Country Board, Rep. Connolly launched  the Cool Counties campaign, aiming to reduce local carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. He still meets regularly with the campaign’s leadership and wants citizens to know that their actions — from installing energy efficient light bulbs to calling elected leaders across party lines — do make a difference.

Similarly, Rep. Moran was instrumental in closing an outdated coal-fired power plant, which was a source of lung problems and water pollution in Alexandria, when he was mayor. Now, in his role as an appropriator, he works to ensure that the EPA has the resources it needs to keep Americans healthy and safe.

The congressmen believe that new EPA carbon pollution limits on power plants will spur clean energy innovation and jobs across the state while mitigating the devastating impacts of extreme weather events.

“Environment Virginia encourages all citizens to watch the video and  take action by submitting a public comment to the EPA by visiting EnvironmentVirginia.org before the comment period closes on March 10,” said Poche.

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