Talking Points: Governor McAuliffe

Things to Share about Terry McAuliffe with McAuliffe

During the gubernatorial race McAuliffe campaigned on a pro-clean energy platform; and garnered the support of some very strong environmental groups.

Voters were encouraged by what was, by most accounts, McAuliffe’s call for a referendum on the environment. That encouragement has turned within his first year in office to utter disappointment.

  • On 17 August 2013, McAuliffe spoke out against hydro-fracking when he launched his environmental protection policy platform on a campaign stop in Norfolk.  According to the Associated Press, McAuliffe said, “I won’t allow it as long as I’m governor.”  “We made it clear to everyone we will not allow fracking in our national forest. I’m not going to allow it.” He was speaking of hydro-fracking in the George Washington National Forest, but the dangers of hydro-fracking to the drinking water of residence around the drilling site and the damage to the environment are the same whether hydro-fracking occurs in a national forest, West Virginia, or in your backyard.

Before we sink more money in gas infrastructure, we have an obligation wherever possible to focus our investments on the clean technologies of the future — not the dirty fuels of the past — and to minimize the environmental impact of all our energy infrastructure projects. We can do better — we should — we must.

There’s also growing evidence to suggest that the shale gas reserves in WV, OH, and PA are wildly optimistic and that the focus should be on reigning in fossil fuel consumption, not encouraging it.

  • McAulifffe stated that our aim must be to reduce reliance on fossil based fuels, not encourage their further development which will be the result if this and other similar pipelines are supported.

We must have a careful consideration of clean energy alternatives as well as other natural gas pipeline alternatives that do not create wholly new infrastructure.

Quotes from McAuliffe’s campaign website.

“As Governor, Terry will support farmers in continuing, refining and expanding their efforts to make meaningful contributions to protecting the Commonwealth’s rivers, streams”

“Target preservation of environmentally sensitive areas. As Governor, Terry will seek to identify and prioritize the protection of Virginia’s most environmentally valuable ecosystems.”

“Terry will protect localities’ rights to make their own decisions about land use activities within their jurisdictions.”

 His platform supported offshore wind in Virginia and other “clean” energy jobs.

During the campaign, his website ( was quoted as saying,

 “The US has created 2,675,545 clean energy jobs. Unfortunately, Virginia only has 2.5% of those jobs, or 66,772. This is unacceptable, and I know we can do better. Our neighbors to the south and west are already getting ahead and we need to catch up and then take the lead.”

“There is a lot we can do. We’ve got over 1,000 megawatts of wind power we could be capturing onshore. Building this capacity would result in $2.7 million in new payments to landowners, $9.1 million in new property tax revenues, over 1,500 new construction jobs and over 200 new long-term jobs.”

“We also know we can create thousands more jobs by encouraging energy efficiency and supporting people in making their homes and businesses more efficient. These kinds of renovations employ construction workers and keep building supplies moving through the economy, while saving homeowners and businesses money every month on their utility bills.”

The proposed pipeline and the process underway are antithetical to the positions McAuliffe held during the gubernatorial race – the positions many Virginian’s used in deciding to vote for him.