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Dr. Ibraheem Samirah for State Senate
The climate crisis is here. The experts warn that we are woefully unprepared. The United Nations’ top scientists have given humanity 7 years to drastically reverse course, or face irreparable harm from climate change. That means we’ve already missed our window for half-measures and small ideas. To preserve our clean air and water, improve public health, and bring our energy grid and infrastructure into the 21st century, it’s time to go big. We need an authentically Virginian Green New Deal: A legislative plan of action to begin the economic transition to a decarbonized Commonwealth.
The diverse communities of Virginia make the case for a Green New Deal themselves. Virginia’s Tidewater region faces increased threat from sea-level rise and increasingly dangerous storms and hurricanes. Appalachian communities that are reliant on coal and natural gas industries are in desperate need of an energy sector transition that can reinvigorate the economy. And in Union Hill, a historically black community, a textbook example of environmental racism is transpiring as major fossil-fuel peddlers are working to build a pipeline compressor station that will target the community with pollution.
The Virginian Green New Deal would work to provide a just transition for those disproportionately impacted by climate change. That means:
An education and jobs program that will retrain marginalized communities to work in good-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector as part of a state-wide effort to rapidly eclipse fossil fuels with green energy production.
Significant investments in clean public transit like buses, trains, light-rail, and accommodation for bikes and pedestrians.
The immediate blockage of all dirty energy infrastructure projects like the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines.
Updates to Virginia’s roads, bridges, tunnels, and water systems to ensure that frontline communities in coastal regions can be resilient to the effects of a changing climate.
A focus on research and development to utilize Virginia’s growing tech sector to be a global leader in renewable energy technology.
Protecting and honoring Virginia’s parks, forests, waterways, and public green spaces that promote healthier communities, preserve biodiversity, and bring in millions of dollars in state revenue through tourism.