I write as a citizen of Virginia worried about the peril catastrophic climate change will impose on our children. Although I am active in several environmental groups in Northern Virginia, the views I express are simply my own. However, I believe the general tenor of my remarks are shared by most of my fellow environmentalists.
In developing Virginia’s energy future, I hope state planners will
1. Declare a moratorium on fossil fuel projects (including the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines).
2. Incentivize residents, businesses, private organizations, and local governments to install solar as they see fit.
3. Mandate all state agencies convert their buildings to clean energies (wind, water, solar, and geothermal).
4. Mandate high standards of energy efficiency in all new private and public construction; incentivize energy retrofits in all existing private buildings; mandate it in existing public buildings.
5. Mandate the development of required transportation infrastructure for powering all vehicles by electricity, and mandate a rapid conversion to electric vehicles.
6. DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN for rapidly converting Virginia to 100% renewable energy. Planners might begin with the existing work of climate scientists and engineers led by Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson which provides roadmaps for every state to convert to clean energy by 2050: http://thesolutionsproject.org/infographic/ . Another useful source is the “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act” introduced last year by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and others: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3671 .
7. TAKE DECISIVE ACTION! This is a scientific and moral imperative. For too long, governments have done too little. Now there is no time for a gradual approach. Either governments act quickly, or we all lose.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.