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Virginia Officials Embrace Biden's Climate-Change Initiatives

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Friday, April 23, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. - With President Joe Biden pledging to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 at the close of his global climate summit, Virginia officials say they're eager to work with a federal ally who prioritizes climate solutions.

During the Trump administration, Mike Turner - Ashburn district supervisor in Loudoun County - said he continued clean-energy efforts, despite the lack of federal support.

Last year's passage of Virginia's Clean Economy Act, which requires zero carbon emissions by 2050, motivated Loudoun County to step up its initiatives. Turner said together, the two guidelines are setting a course for a greener Virginia with more economic growth.

"I know the president's Global Climate Summit focuses on a lot of initiatives that Virginia can take real advantage of," said Turner. "All of these are going to create jobs. The key to this whole thing is exactly what the president is focused on, and exactly what Governor Northam and our board here in Loudoun County is focused on - jobs."

He noted Biden's infrastructure program, the American Jobs Plan, also includes clean-energy actions for job growth, including delivering a new electric grid and modernizing public transportation.

The Jobs Plan also aims to build energy-efficient homes and office buildings, and modernize older structures. Virginia State Delegate Ibraheem Samirah - D-Herndon - also emphasized the need to create more climate-friendly communities, especially in congested Northern Virginia.

"We need more enviro-friendly, walkable, biking communities that offer places for people to live near public transportation systems," said Samirah. "So, we want to be able to push people to use public transit. That means infrastructure dollars through the climate actions that the president is going to be taking."

More than 78,000 Virginians work in the clean-energy industry


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