Press Release | May 16, 2017

McAuliffe Sends D.C. A Climate Change Message

Virginia leading the way in the South in reducing carbon pollution

Charlottesville, VA— Today Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe took a decisive step forward to fight climate change and to show the nation that, despite key environmental protections being stripped away at the federal level, Virginia is moving forward.

“The Governor is showing Virginia and America what true leadership looks like. Climate change poses the single greatest environmental threat the world has ever known. This bold action demonstrates that when Washington fumbles and falls, with the right leadership, the states can lead,” said attorney Will Cleveland of the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Hopefully Governor McAuliffe’s actions today will inspire policymakers in other states to follow a similar course.”

McAuliffe’s announcement to reduce carbon emissions by ordering the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to write regulations to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector is the strongest move yet from a southern state to push back on the Trump administration’s rollback of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

The Southern Environmental Law Center remains committed to working with this administration to ensure that Virginia continues to do the right thing for its citizens, the nation, and the global community, regardless of reckless decisions being made by the Trump administration.

Governor McAuliffe’s new plan goes hand-in-hand with SELC’s mission to ensure that renewable energy is made affordable and easily accessible to all Virginians.


The Southern Environmental Law Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

Press Contacts

Will Cleveland

Senior Attorney