Richmond, VA - Last week, in close collaboration with Food & Water Action and the Green New Deal Coalition, Delegate Sam Rasoul introduced House Bill 77, which places a moratorium on fossil fuel development in Virginia, mandates a 100% clean energy economy by 2035, provides a just transition plan for fossil fuel workers, and establishes environmental justice protections. Set to gain traction in the upcoming legislative session, this bill equips Virginia to become a leader in the movement towards a fast and equitable clean energy transition.
The legislation covers a diverse array of climate policy points, all of which fit together into an ambitious plan to tackle fossil fuel pollution, decarbonize Virginia’s economy, and bolster Virginia’s communities with good jobs and clean energy. Specific policy proposals include transitional assistance for fossil fuel workers and impacted communities, in addition to job training programs and energy worker protections.
“We’re excited to see our legislation gain momentum heading into the 2020 session,” says Delegate Sam Rasoul.“This bill is a comprehensive plan that includes measures both urgent and necessary for jumpstarting Virginia’s renewable energy economy, and in the process it ensures investments will pay off most for the frontline communities who’ve already borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and climate change.”
“Any Green New Deal that will usher in a clean energy transition for Virginia must include environmental justice components, and this bill tackles that requirement head-on,” says Jolene Mafnas, Virginia organizer for Food & Water Action. “It places an immediate moratorium on all fossil fuel development projects, which disproportionately pollute poor communities and communities of color. And it makes sure those currently employed by the fossil fuel industry have well-paying jobs during and after the transition, because we’re fighting greedy corporations, not workers.”
Food & Water Action is the political advocacy arm of the research and education organization Food & Water Watch. We mobilize people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.