Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Moran Campaign Raises Questions About McAuliffe's Enviromental Policy

There's been a fair amount of discussion recently about the differences between Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe regarding environmental issues. The discussion has primarily focused on how Terry recently released a plan that supports "clean coal" -- a concept that most environmental activists realize simply doesn't exist even though many statewide candidates in Virginia claim to support it in order to get votes from people who work in the coal industry.

In a statement released early today, Brian Moran's communications director (Jesse Ferguson) made it clear that Brian is going to stand up for progressive values and our environment during this campaign.
“For six weeks, Brian Moran has been rolling out bold, progressive policy solutions, and we are glad to see Mr. McAuliffe finally join the debate. Brian Moran has been promoting an agenda that creates new green jobs, protects our environment, provides health care for every child and keeps families in their homes. Democratic leaders across the Commonwealth are supporting this bold agenda because it is backed up by the 20 years Brian Moran has been fighting for people, traveling the state, and working side-by-side with Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

Unfortunately, Mr. McAuliffe has announced an energy plan which dodges the toughest energy issues facing Virginia. You can develop slick-looking, well-packaged policy plans, but if they don’t fight for the things that matter to people or address the tough issues, then they don’t move Virginia forward. You can’t say you’re for a clean environment and continue to support new coal mega-plants and offshore drilling.”
  • New Surry Coal Mega-Plant Support. McAuliffe continues to support a new coal-fired mega-plant in Surry County, siding against Virginia’s environment and the health of its residents. The Surry plant is one of the greatest threats to Virginia’s environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Within 50 miles of Richmond and Hampton Roads, it will dump toxic chemicals into the Chesapeake Bay. Brian Moran opposes the proposed plant. (Hersay with Cathy Lewis, WHRO, 2/19/2009)
  • Offshore Drilling Support. McAuliffe continues to support drilling off Virginia’s coast. Mr. McAuliffe seems to think we can solve 21st century energy challenges with more 19th century fossil fuels. Moran has opposed offshore drilling.
After months of supporting a 12% renewable energy production requirement, Mr. McAuliffe has joined Brian Moran and Barack Obama in calling for a full 25% of our energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. We are glad to see McAuliffe following our lead. (Gubernatorial hopeful touts renewable energy sources, “Danville Register and Bee,” 1/9/2009)
What is very interesting about this statement is that it's obviously directed at the McAuliffe campaign, but it does so in a way that highlights actual policy differences between Moran and McAuliffe. Since some supporters of both candidates (not the actual campaigns) have taken rhetorical swipes at one another in public forums, it's good to see that the Moran campaign is making sure that it is promoting discussion of the actual issues. Virginians have an important decision to make when they head to the polls this year and I think it's important for the campaigns realize the discussion should focus on the issues that are important to the public and who has the best policy.

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