Climate Action Trumps Science Denial in Virginia Governor's Race
Terry McAuliffe, who supports Environmental Protection Agency carbon pollution limits and was endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, defeated avowed climate science denier Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday in Virginia's election for governor.
Voters told of his conservation
values overwhelmingly said they’d vote for McAuliffe.
A Washington Post poll a week
before the election showed likely voters trusted McAuliffe over Cuccinelli on
energy and environment issues by a 48% to 40% margin. “One man who described
himself as a staunch Republican, but who was voting for McAuliffe, denounced
Cuccinelli’s legal fight with a climate scientist over global warming,” reports
the Associated Press.
Top climate scientist Michael
Mann, who received a National Wildlife Federation Conservation
Achievement Award in
September, actively campaigned for McAuliffe. Cuccinelli had targeted Mann with
lawsuits the Washington Post called a witch hunt. “I congratulate Terry McAuliffe, a
man truly worthy of being the next Governor of the great Commonwealth of
Virginia,” said Mann last night. “As for Ken Cuccinelli, I am pleased
to see Virginia voters reject his destructive and dangerous brand of politics,
and his contempt for science and rational thought.”
McAuliffe immediately becomes a key player in
America’s booming clean
energy sector. Dominion
Virginia Power recently won the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s auction for offshore wind leasing rights off the
Virginia coast, an area with the potential to power more
than 700,000 homes with clean, renewable offshore wind power.
Between McAuliffe’s win, Ed
Markey’s win in June’s Massachusetts Senate special election, and an
18-candidate sweep last fall, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund-endorsed
candidates are now 20-for-20 over the last year. Meanwhile, the
polluter-aligned U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $20 million in an attempt to
defeat seven pro-conservation senators last year and lost in all seven races.
The message for candidates is
clear: Supporting conservation values and
climate action isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good politics.