By Dan Taylor
The Hampton Roads region of Virginia has championed high road labor standards and clean energy investments in its communities for years. Located off the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, this area is making major strides in the offshore wind industry and has deep roots in the East Coast energy economy.
On Saturday January 7th, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) joined local and state leaders and advocates to discuss federal infrastructure investments to boost coastal resiliency and clean energy.
The BlueGreen Alliance was proud to partner with Virginia LCV, Common Defense, and Climate Action VA to host this community discussion in Hampton, VA. The discussion centered on regional issues and how federal investments in the clean economy can benefit the community. The event served as an opportunity to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and other federal legislation, educating the public on these federal climate investments. Leaders heard local perspectives and resident concerns about climate change impacts.
Participants included the keynote speaker: Congressman Scott, Delegate Shelly Simonds HD-94 from Newport News, Councilor Andria McClellan from Norfolk Superward 6, Virginia Building Trades President and VA AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Jason Parker, Founder and Executive Director of Center for Sustainable Communities Garry Harris, and Heidi Dragneff from Common Defense.
Catherine Setaro, Hampton Roads Organizer from Virginia LCV was the Moderator and Dan Taylor, Regional Field Organizer with the BlueGreen Alliance, gave the introduction to the event.
“Today’s community forum was a great opportunity to discuss our work on the climate crisis. Through the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other climate and resilience initiatives, significant progress has been made,” said Scott. “However, further collaboration will be critical to the Hampton Roads region as we look to create good-paying jobs and prioritize environmental justice as we continue to combat the climate crisis.”
“The Biden administration has enacted new policies and investments not only in the clean economy, but also in the communities who need them the most—workers of color and disadvantaged groups who’ve been hit hard by the transition to cleaner, cheaper energy,” said Taylor. “If Virginia can capitalize on the billions of dollars available for climate justice and climate resilience in coastal communities, families across the Hampton Roads region win.”
“Hampton Roads has always been looked to as ‘ground zero’ for climate impacts here in Virginia. But thanks to federal investment, as well as our state’s plans to reach 100 percent clean energy, this region is also playing a huge role in addressing this crisis,” said Catherine Setaro, Hampton Roads Organizer with Virginia LCV.
Dan Taylor is the Appalachian Regional Field Organizer at the BlueGreen Alliance. Read his full bio here.