Thursday, October 29, 2009

Virginia Delegate Candidates Survey Responses

The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) recently sent a brief
survey (below) to all the candidates for House of Delegates in the 15th,
20th, 25th and 26th Districts-- those relevant to the local area.
Responses from three of the four Democratic candidates were prompt and
often detailed. However, even after the third attempt to contact our
current Delegates by phone, email or through their websites, there were
zero replies. As friends of the environment, we thought you'd like to
know the results as we approach Election Day, Nov. 3--Please vote! And
if you think this information is worthwhile, please forward it to other
Thanks, Anne Nielsen, CAAV Steering committee.

The Survey:
* Question #1. *Do you favor a mandatory alternative or renewable energy
portfolio for Virginia? *According to a September report from the Pew
Center, Virginia is conspicuously missing among the states that have
adopted such standards. We at CAAV think such standards not only help to
reduce climate changing emissions, but strengthen investment in more
local energy sources.
*_District 15: _*(Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, part of Rockingham)
*Delegate Todd Gilbert*. No reply, no useful info on website. 
*John Lesinski* No reply; from website "reduce pollution and prevent
unnecessary destruction of scenic landscape" and includes extensive
business plan that mentions "needs to invest in energy-saving
technologies and renewable energies".

*_District 20_* (Augusta, Highland, part of Rockingham)
*Richard P. "Dickie" Bell* No response. No relevant info on website;
disparages EU practice in "Green Jobs", supports offshore drilling. 
*Erik P. Curren responds:* "I absolutely support a mandatory renewable
portfolio for the state of Virginia. This would be perhaps the best way
to offer strong incentives for energy producers to quickly ramp up
solar, wind, non-food biomass, small-scale hydro and other clean,
renewable energy technologies that can move Virginia toward energy
independence and away from foreign oil. Government played a major role
in encouraging the development of affordable, powerful computers which
helped lead to the Internet boom of the 1990s. Now, government, both
federal and state, has a major role to play in helping entrepreneurs
benefit from the coming clean energy boom that will create trillions of
dollars in value, and millions of jobs in the US in the coming decades.
If Virginia does not get on board now, we risk missing out to other
states on the huge business opportunities in the clean energy economy." 

*_District 25 _*(Albemarle, part of Augusta, part of Rockingham)
*R. Steven "Steve" Landes*. No response Serves on appropriations
committee, and worked on HB 2351 (funding, natural resources, BMP, Dept.
of Conservation). 
*Greg J. Marrow responds: *"Yes, I absolutely think that as a state and
a nation, we need to work toward clean energy resources. This year we
have a great opportunity to work towards a clean energy society.
Virginia ranks among the worst states to invest in these opportunities,
as a delegate I will work towards alternative energy and give tax
incentives to companies willing to invest in clean energy. You can read
more about my Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant (website)." 

*_District 26 _*(part of Rockingham)
*Matthew J. "Matt" Lohr* No response. From website, "We must continue to
support our coal and nuclear industries while simultaneously investing
in green jobs & renewable energy resources. A huge piece of energy
independence puzzle will be the exploration of oil and natural gas off
of Virginia's coast."
*A. Gene Hart, Jr. responds: *"Yes, I do support a mandatory renewable
energy standards portfolio, (aiming for) 25% renewable energy sources by
2025. The Commonwealth possesses great potential in wind power, solar
energy, biomass and organic-waste-to energy (especially poultry-waste to
energy). However, this great potential will not be realized unless we
require our power companies to move away from near-total reliance on
last century's energy technologies. Given the incentive, the industry
can be efficient and creative, and will amaze us by what they can do."

Question #2. *What is your interest in policies designed to improve the
energy efficiency of buildings? *Their emissions account for nearly 40%
of the CO2 emissions nationally, according to Global Green in
California, a state which has dramatically improved building and
retrofit codes.
*_District 15: _*
*Delegate Todd Gilbert*. No response. No info on website. 
*John Lesinski* No response, no mention on

*_District 20_*
*Richard P. "Dickie" Bell* No response, no info on website, 
*Erik P. Curren responds: *"Making buildings energy efficient is one of
the top strategies in the jobs plan I released a couple weeks ago. Good
jobs for the Valley. I believe that building codes for all construction
should be improved to maximize energy efficiency in new construction,
perhaps using as a model LEED or Energy Star for buildings standards.
And I would support requiring new construction of public buildings
(schools, government offices, etc.) should conform to a reasonable level
of LEED standard.* * 

*_District 25 _*
*R. Steven "Steve" Landes*. No response
*Greg J. Marrow responds:* "One of the easiest ways to improve our
energy independence is by using less energy. I have spoken (about) and
released a plan which includes extending a tax holiday to purchasing
products which will lower our energy consumption, including energy
efficient windows, insulation and much more."*

*_District 26 _*
*Matthew J. "Matt" Lohr* No response
*A. Gene Hart, Jr responds: *"The quickest and cheapest gains in energy
are in energy efficiency and conservation. (There has been) too little
long-term thinking and planning on this subject. The Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards are an independent
certification process addressing the construction and renovation of
buildings that are less costly to operate, conserve energy and water,
are safer and healthier for occupants, and produce less waste.
Constructing homes and buildings to LEED standards save money, energy
and natural resources. Tax credits should be available for homeowners
purchasing new homes constructed to LEED standards and for homeowners
who renovate existing homes to LEED standards. I also support the
requirement that all new and renovated state- and local government-owned
facilities meet LEED standards.

Question #3. *What is your interest in the "buy local" movement? *Many,
including environmentalists and organic farmers, think that rather than
continuing to subsidize large agribusiness interests, we should be
subsidizing local producers, especially organic producers and those in
and near urban areas, as a way to increase the health of the human diet
and decreasing "food miles"--the emissions resulting from long-distance
transport of much of our food. The local Shenandoah Valley Produce
Auction in Dayton is one outstandingly successful example of efforts to
establish connections among local farm producers and major local
distributors and consumers.
*_District 15: _*
*Delegate Todd Gilbert*. No response. Find him at 
*John Lesinski* No response. From website business plan, extensive
support for sustainable agriculture and improved access to locally grown

*_District 20_*
*Richard P. "Dickie" Bell* No response.
*Erik P. Curren responds: *"Our resurgent farmers' markets are a big
success story for our Valley communities and can be an example of how we
can revive vibrant economies with significant local trade. I am a big
supporter of buying local, not only for food, but for a variety of
products and services. For food, I support Food Choice, which would give
consumers a true choice between mass-produced, commercially processed
food and food grown and produced locally. To make progress toward Food
Choice, a variety of regulations need to be adjusted to create a level
playing field for smaller producers and to remove barriers to those
producers willing to supply local markets. Beyond food, I support
promoting local renewable energy, local small scale manufacturing, and
of course local commutes--coordinating transportation and land-use
policy so that people can live closer to where they work, shop and play.
Again, please see my jobs plan for more information."*

*_District 25 _*
*R. Steven "Steve" Landes*. No response
*Greg J. Marrow responds: *"Buying locally is a logical, easy and
healthy endeavor for all of us in the Shenandoah Valley. I support and
will (look) forward to providing incentives to maintain this movement.
The Valley is rich with agricultural land, resources and farmer's
markets. We have a great opportunity to support our local farmers,
economy and community, while reducing our carbon footprint and the costs
and health concerns associated with industrialized food importation." 

*_District 26 _*
*Matthew J. "Matt" Lohr* No response. From website, supports legislation
protecting family farms and chaired study of statewide Transfer of
Development program that passed General Assembly this year; also
championed bill to ease small scale biofuels production on farms. 

*A. Gene Hart, Jr. responds: *"The "buy local" movement is certainly
very exciting and I support the concept wholeheartedly. Governments at
all levels should encourage local producers and local consumers to
expand local exchanges and farmers' markets. I would like to see if we
can encourage local governmental institutional players (such as school
cafeterias and jails) to become active participants in local
exchanges/markets as a way to foster their continuing development. I
would support emerging business models like that of the Friendly City
Food Coop. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one in the area who understands how incompentent and stupid our current delegates are? Do you not realize that if they lived in a normal district with normal people, that they would probably be living off of welfare? They are as dumb as dirt!

They have no education, no intellect, no ability to grasp the important stuff. THIS IS WHY THE VALLEY IS CONSIDERED AS A JOKE BY RICHMOND AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY!

I know that my neighbors don't mind being called stupid, its in ther inbred stupidity, but I hate it. Its time to grow up and realize that you're not real bright. You people don't deserve the right to vote.