Our fellow Virginians in Southwest Virginia have had enough. Once a Democrat stronghold, the voters of Southwest Virginia have voted overwhelmingly Republican over the past several election cycles – a trend attributable to the Democrat Party’s disregard of one of their primary livelihoods – energy and more specifically coal.
Now, Governor McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Northam, and Attorney General Herring have doubled down on the failed policies of President Obama. Their stance on energy harms families Southwest Virginia, whose regional economy has been decimated by the anti-energy policies coming out of Washington for the last eight years.
Ed responded to Governor McAuliffe’s cap and trade-style Executive Directive after visiting Deep Mine 41 in Dickenson County alongside Senator Ben Chafin (R-Russell) and Delegate Will Morefield (R-Tazewell).
“We all want cleaner air; we all want cleaner water,” Ed said, “We can get those things without these excessive regulations that are job-killing and cost-increasing.”
Other Southwest Virginia leaders reacted just as strongly:
“The ‘Clean Energy Virginia’ initiative is simply a cap & trade scheme,” said 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith. “That’s right, a worn out idea that he’s recycled. Throughout McAuliffe’s failed governorship, he has shown utter disregard for SWVA & the coal industry. This action continues this unfortunate trend. When Ed Gillespie is elected as our next governor in November, I am certain he will reverse this trend of forcing devastating, job-killing policies onto Southwest Virginians.”
“Today we saw the McAuliffe-Northam-Herring Administration champion an energy policy that leaves Virginia’s families and businesses concerned about sudden and drastic increases to their energy costs,” Chairman of the House Commerce & Labor Committee Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) said. “It’s clear the Democratic candidates for governor, who support this move, have decided to put politics ahead of the best interests of the people of Virginia. As governor, they’d implement energy policies that are harmful to Virginia’s families.”
“Mining is a vocation, an economic driver, and a way of life that has defined our communities for generations,” said Delegate Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol). “More so, energy affordability and reliability are critically important to us in Southwest Virginia and to all Virginians. I have been concerned about this issue for years and am disappointed to see Governor McAuliffe’s continued disregard for the citizens of Southwest Virginia. The next governor must work to undo this executive directive and the extensive damage this Administration has inflicted on Virginians.”
Delegate Todd Pillion (R-Washington) said, “This executive directive is yet another example of government overreach by Governor McAuliffe and his allies. We must be committed to pro-growth policies and economic development that will allow us to utilize our God-given natural resources here in Southwest Virginia and across the Commonwealth. Over the years we have worked to make our state government more efficient and accountable. The Governor’s attempt to unilaterally implement a failed national policy here in the Commonwealth is bad for all Virginians.”
“Ed Gillespie has shown time and time again that he’s committed to creating jobs and fighting for the Commonwealth we all love,” said Senator Bill Carrico (R-Grayson). “He will support energy advancement through innovation – not market distorting regulation.”
Ed Gillespie understands that we need to give this vital region of our Commonwealth every chance to mitigate that damage, and affordable and reliable energy is critical to economic development across the entire Commonwealth.
Virginia’s next governor needs to advance an all-of-the-above energy strategy. He will do this through innovation and not regulation. This isn’t just a problem for our coalfields, but for consumers across the Commonwealth.
“Energy affordability and reliability are critical to economic development across the Commonwealth. Governor McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Northam, and Attorney General Herring announced a new substantial barrier to that goal,” said House Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “As governor, I know Ed will do exactly that and look for every opportunity to get our economy growing again.”
Ed agrees that we need to work toward incorporating more renewable sources of energy. That is clearly the direction we are going, and as we do that natural gas and nuclear power will play a crucial role as the backbone of our system, ensuring a constant, reliable source of energy as we bring onboard other sources that may be more intermittent in nature
It is critical that we strike a reasonable balance, ensuring that we do not implement policies that raise energy costs on Virginia families, workers and businesses, nor impede economic growth across the state.
When the Clean Power Plan was put forward the State Corporation Commission estimated the federal regulations would increase electricity costs in Virginia by nearly $6 billion.
As governor, Ed will support innovation to advance clean energy and lower emissions. The McAuliffe-Northam plan to regulate carbon is more of what we can expect from Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and Congressman Perriello.