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Press Release:
Richmond Agrees To Increased Clean Energy Discussions

Contact: Miriam Gennari, Press Secretary, Virginia Green Party, 703-549-1422,

(Arlington, VA) The Green Party and Sierra Club joined forces last week to showcase the lack of discussion on renewable energy during the kickoff meeting of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) on October 4, 2011. In a positive response, Governor McDonnell's staff said their door is open to discussions on renewable energy from all parties. They expressed a willingness to meet with the Greens and environmental allies to confer on what Governor McDonnell (SSEB Chairman) called the key to America's "geo-political stability," the quest for energy. Andrew Lamar, Governor McDonnell's Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Advisor also reassured the dozens of citizens in attendance that renewable energy options will be discussed during the SSEB's upcoming 51st Annual meeting. Lamar said the Governors and Congressional representatives favor an inclusive, 'all of the above' approach."

The recent gathering of Southern governors and energy executives focused exclusively on mining, drilling and nuclear power. The 32 "Associate Members," who pay to serve on the SSEB, are dominated by energy companies, a sector reporting record profits. Presenting a united front, the Associate Members continue to push for less regulation under the pretext of economic development.

Surprising many, Democrat Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) spoke early in the panel discussion about his bill, co-sponsored by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) to support off shore drilling in exchange for Virginia getting 50 percent of tax revenue. Governor Mc Donnell jested that with the slow down of plans to drill off the Atlantic Coast since the Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf, he would "settle for 20 percent." No elected official or industry representative at the Energy Summit acknowledged that the current cost of the Gulf Spill may exceed 40 billion dollars. Likewise, no mention was made of the earthquake-triggered shutdown of the Lake Anna Nuclear Power Plant or the terrorist threat posed against such facilities.

Virginia Green Party co-chair Tom Yager, criticized the Summit, noting its carbon-centric focus on oil and gas resources, high-risk nuclear power, "and opposition to new Environmental Protection Agency regulations." Yager also pointed out "There was no mention of conservation, efficiency, or renewable sources of energy that we need for a sustainable economy." In contrast, Senator Warner only mentioned conservation as "low hanging fruit," but offered no policy measures to capitalize on waste reduction not tied to drilling.

As the Southern States gather in Richmond on the October 17 to discuss our energy future, the Virginia Sierra Club plans to hold a "Memorial for the Mountains," at the Richmond Convention Center. Organizers of the event are recommending guests wear black.

Individuals interested in learning more about the role the Greens play in the promoting sustainable energy should contact their local chapter.

Additional information on the Green Party of the United States can be found at:

Additional information on the Virginia Green Party can be found at:

GPVA Press Secretary: Miriam Gennari

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