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Moran Vows to Stop New Coal Plant

Tim Craig

Brian J. Moran, a Democratic candidate for governor, vowed today he will stop the construction of a proposed coal fired power plant in Surry County if he is elected governor.

Moran advisors say he is the first candidate for governor in modern times to oppose a new coal fired power plant, a further indication that Moran plans to aggressively pursue support from environmentalists. Moran said the plant, which has been proposed by Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, will contribute to global warming and harm the Chesapeake Bay.

"As a candidate for governor, it is important to know where the next governor will stand on important issues," Moran said a press conference this morning in front of the Department of Environmental Quality Office in Richmond. "We should be investing and developing clean sources of energy."

The announcement marked Moran's third major environmental initiative in three weeks. Moran has also announced his opposition to drilling off Virginia's coastline and unveiled plans to mandate that 25 percent of the state's energy needs come from renewable sources by 2025.

Last year, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and state officials gave the green light to a new coal fired power plant in Wise County, despite fierce opposition from environmentalists. Moran refused to say whether he agrees with the construction of that plant, which is being built by Dominion Power, a major donor to Virginia political candidates.

Moran was flanked by representatives from the Sierra Club, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Environment Virginia. But Moran's aggressive stance against coal could hinder his ability to win votes in Southwest Virginia in the general election if he is the Democratic nominee.

By Tim Craig  |  January 22, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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I've talked with people in SW VA and many of them know the coal companies dangle jobs but the plants are mostly automated now and the employees are mostly brought in from out of state.

Posted by: ToddMSmyth | January 22, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

As the Virginia Director of the Sierra Club, I wanted to clarify that our presence at Mr. Moran's press conference was by his invitation and that Sierra Club has made no endorsements for Governor. We very much appreciate Mr. Moran's announcment in opposition to the Surry Plant, and we are hopeful that other candidates will review the facts and come to a similar position.
Sincerely, Glen Besa

Posted by: glenbesa1 | January 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I attended Mr. Moran's press conference today for the Cheasapeake Climate Action Network to hear what he had to say. We were encouraged by Mr. Moran's statements against the Surry coal plant and look forward to hearing where other candidates stand on the matter.

Posted by: c_harnish | January 22, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

While I don't like absolutist positions--ever, I commend Brian Moran for having the political courage to take a risky, but in the end, correct, political position.

This to me shows that Brian Moran does have the leadership that Virginia needs to bring our economy along as a national leader in green & alternative energy production, and distribution.

The old dinosaurs need to get out of the way if they're not going to be part of the coalition to lead us there.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | January 23, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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