Top Priorities

Clean and fair energy

Virginia is a national leader in expanding clean energy and reducing air pollution, and SELC helped get it there. Laws in the state require a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2050, with milestones along the way. SELC attorneys are ensuring these laws benefit all Virginians. We promote broad access to solar, particularly in the Southwestern Virginia coalfields. The first offshore wind farm in our region will be built off the Virginia coast. And our attorneys are in front of decisionmakers in Richmond, holding Virginia’s electric utilities accountable.

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Environmental justice

Our successful challenge to a proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station set a strong legal precedent for considering environmental justice in permitting decisions. No longer can the impacts of polluting projects on Black, Brown and Indigenous Virginia communities be ignored. We are working with partners to build on this foundation and to ensure the law protects communities of color and low-income communities from bearing unjust environmental harm.

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Clean cars

Cars are the largest source of carbon pollution in Virginia and nationwide. New Virginia laws will reduce tailpipe emissions and increase access to electric vehicles. Our attorneys are ensuring follow-through and pressing for further state-level EV incentives and investments in charging infrastructure, and equitable deployment of the large amount of federal funding available to advance transportation electrification. At the same time, cleaning up the transportation sector will take more than just electrification. We are also advocating for better rail and transit services that help to reduce tailpipe emissions and improve access for all.

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Coastal resilience

As the impacts of climate change become increasingly obvious in Virginia, wetlands will play an important role in buffering the worst flooding. Our attorneys combine their deep understanding of wetlands’ value, development pressures, and policy options to lead the Commonwealth toward a more resilient future.

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Protecting Virginia from gas pipelines and plants

From defeating the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to placing our national forests off-limits to fracking, SELC is at the forefront of pushing back on new investments in natural gas pipelines and power plants that would harm our land and water, release methane (a potent greenhouse gas), and lock us into fossil fuels for decades. As companies continue to push for unnecessary pipelines and plants across the Commonwealth, SELC is highlighting the long- and short-term costs.

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National forests

From day one, SELC has championed our mountain forests. Virginia’s national forests, the largest in our region, offer beautiful places to enjoy nature, support key fish and wildlife habitat, and supply drinking water to millions downstream. We continue to oppose reckless projects that threaten national treasures and work to permanently protect outstanding places within these forests.

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