April 22, 2022 News & Press Releases

Earth Day Special: Republicans Roll Back Environmental Protections, While Democrats Fight To Secure Them

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA –As we celebrate protecting and preserving our planet this Earth Day, it is important to note that while Democrats went big and fought for generational investments protecting our environment, Gov. Youngkin and Republicans attempted to roll back our progress and worsen the ongoing effects of climate change by:

  • Slashing hundreds of millions in funding for key environmental and land conservation programs.
  • Appointing Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and Trump crony as Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources.
  • Withdrawing Virginia from the RGGI, which would have cut $180 million for clean energy and flood preparedness.
  • Slashing an additional $26 million for agricultural Best Management Practices that support local farmers and foresters.
  • Repealing key provisions of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, weakening our transition to clean energy.
  • Gutting Virginia’s clean car standard, which is essential to reducing dangerous emissions.

Virginia Democrats fought tooth and nail and killed Republican attempts to weaken our defenses and ensure Virginia remains a leader in the fight against climate change. Democrats also included major funding initiatives in their budget:

  • Funding Virginia’s agricultural Best Management Practices.
  • Providing over $100 million to address combined sewage overflow.
  • Securing tens of millions in funding for land conservation and state parks.

“On Earth Day, it is important to reflect on how we are protecting our planet and ensuring that future generations won’t be affected by the negative effects of climate change,” said DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker. “The truth is the Democratic Party is the only party in Virginia dedicated to tackling the worsening effects of climate change and these past months are evidence. As we look ahead, Virginia Democrats will continue protecting Virginia's sacred resources and maintaining Virginia’s natural beauties.”