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CCAN: "Frustrated Virginians Give the Gift of Wind Power to Gov. McDonnell"

4:03 PM ET, 12/15/2010
Good stuff from CCAN, including the statement on the "flip," as environmentalists present Governor Bob McDonnell with "$400 in renewable energy credits to power the Governor's Mansion through 2011."


FRUSTRATED VIRGINIANS GIVE THE GIFT OF WIND POWER TO GOVERNOR MCDONNELL

Energy will Power Governor's Mansion for One Year

RICHMOND - Environmentalists gathered in Richmond today with an early holiday present for Governor Bob McDonnell- $400 in renewable energy credits to power the Governor's Mansion through 2011. Weeks ago, representatives from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) asked the governor to make a personal investment in renewable energy by choosing to power his home with renewable energy credits, but he refused to commit. In response, CCAN supporters in Virginia chipped in $10 or more to purchase the energy credits and demonstrate their support for clean energy sources like offshore wind. Maureen Riley Matsen, the governor's Senior Advisor on Energy was on hand to accept an oversized certificate in honor of the purchase.

"It's time for Governor McDonnell to take concrete action to bring offshore wind to Virginia," said CCAN Executive Director Mike Tidwell. "Governor McDonnell claims to support an 'all-of-the-above' energy plan, but he seems more interested in complaining about the federal government's drilling ban than taking positive steps towards harnessing the clean, offshore power that is available-wind."

The "gift" arrived with an urgent ask for Governor McDonnell: taking the unequivocal action of supporting a mandatory renewable portfolio standard to show that he is serious about bringing offshore wind to the Commonwealth. A few weeks ago, the Department of the Interior announced that it intends to compile a short list of states that are most prepared to move forward on offshore wind. If Governor McDonnell does not act quickly, Virginia will be left behind.

State Senator Donald McEachin said, ""I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Governor for accepting this gift. I very much appreciate this acknowledgment that we need to do all we can to provide alternative energy and not just fossil fuels. I would hope this is the beginning of a sincere and long-term investment by his administration to bring alternative fuels to the Commonwealth. We can start this new direction by exploring the use of wind power off the coast. Rather than wasting time and energy on offshore drilling, which would be detrimental to the Chesapeake Bay and its ecosystems, let's work together to ensure that Virginia is one of the recipients of upcoming government initiatives in wind energy."

CCAN called on the Governor to take steps towards repowering Virginia with clean energy by committing to powering the mansion with renewable electricity for the rest of his term and supporting a renewable portfolio standard. Across the Commonwealth, Virginians are calling for clean energy. More than 4,500 Virginians signed CCAN's pledge in support of offshore wind rather than offshore oil drilling.

Tidwell said: "The longer we delay, the more jobs Virginia is sending to its neighboring states, who are more poised to welcome the growing American wind industry. Virginians are tired of waiting for the clean, homegrown energy sitting off their coast."  

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is the first grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to amass undeniable grassroots power in this unique region surrounding our nation's capital to call for state, national and international policies that will put us on a path to climate stability.


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