Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gov. Kaine Reveals Appointments to VA Climate Commission

Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) announced his picks for the Virginia Commission on Climate Change on Friday. Some good names (Arlington County's Paul Ferguson) and some eyebrow-raising ones (David Heacock of Richmond, President of Dominion Virginia Power).

The commission is charged with, among other things, identifying actions to achieve the 30% cut in projected 2025 greenhouse gas emissions (or about 7% from current levels by Lowell's calculations) targeted by Gov. Kaine's Virginia Energy Plan, of which The Green Miles is not a big fan. I'm also not enamored with the way Gov. Kaine's own press release gets the target wrong, claiming the energy plan aims to "reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025."

No one's answering the phone in the governor's press office today, so I'm holding back judgment until I can get some questions answered about the commission. Among them:
  • What if the Commission determines that we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% from projected 2025 levels? Will it be allowed to make stronger recommendations, or are its hands tied?

  • Why isn't anyone from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network on the panel? Or for that matter, from Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club, Virginia Conservation Network, or Virginia League of Conservation Voters?

  • Why were the appointments revealed on the Friday before Christmas (typically that's when you release news you're trying to bury?
  • I'll let you know when I speak to the governor's office.

    Meantime, what do you think of the commission's members? Any names jump out at you?

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Just to set the record straight, the Virginia Conservation Network is represented by Skip Stiles and Harrison Rue who are on the Board of VCN and indirectly by Trip Pollard of SELC, which is also represented on the Board. Ann Jennings from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has also been active on the issue, issuing a report on the relationship between farming and climate change last year.

    Others on the panel were included as suggestions in a letter from VCN to the Governor.

    One notable inclusion is Jack Gibbons who has been working on energy/climate change starting with his nationally-recognized study on US Energy Use in the late 1970's when he was at Oak Ridge National Lab, followed by his work at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (which issued some of the earliest federal studies on climate change) followed by his work in the Clinton White House as head of the White House Science Office on whose staff were Bob Watson (now a leading advocate for climate change sanity at the World Bank) and Rosina Bierbaum who ran much of the federal climate change work in the late 1990's.