UPPERVILLE, Va. - Governor McAuliffe last night was presented the inaugural John B. Jaske Virginia Conservation Award by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters.
The award, named for longtime Virginia LCV board member and chairman John Jaske, was given to the Governor in recognition of his unmatched environmental leadership in the Commonwealth over the course of his term.
Among the McAuliffe Administration's many accomplishments noted by the Virginia LCV were:
- Reinstating the Virginia Climate Commission
- Securing the largest pollution settlement in the history of Virginia against DuPont for decades of mercury pollution
- Overseeing the largest conservation budget ever for water quality programs and land conservation efforts
- Vetoing the costly and ineffective coal tax credits
- Intervening on Dominion Power's coal ash plans by placing a moratorium on their closure permits
- Expanding and protecting Virginia's State Parks
- Defending the moratorium on uranium mining
- Standing up to President Trump's disastrous environmental agenda
In addition to these achievements, Governor McAuliffe was hailed for his new Executive Directive creating the Clean Energy Virginia initiative, which will reduce carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs across the Commonwealth. The directive made Virginia the first state to take such action since the President ordered the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan.
Between 2015 and 2016, revenues for Virginia's energy efficiency sector have risen from $300 million to $1.5 billion. In the last year alone, solar installations have risen nearly 1,200 percent. The number of Virginians employed by the solar industry rose 65 percent to 3,236 – far outpacing the number of jobs supported by coal.