Here’s the Problem
As a mother and former foster parent, I believe that protecting our environment is one of the most important things we can do for the future of our children. Climate change is not a distant threat, but rather an immediate danger that is impacting the lives of all Virginians. When I learned in 2017 that water in my district was being contaminated with lead and arsenic from a Dominion Energy plant, I vowed to lead the clean-up effort for my two boys, Xander and Alex, and my neighbors’ children. My legislation forced Dominion Energy to clean up the coal leaks in my district and others across the Commonwealth.
In Virginia, a changing climate has meant more frequent storms and flooding that wreak havoc on our Commonwealth, especially in the Hampton Roads region. Vulnerable communities, especially communities of color, are often hit hardest by environmental stressors that can have devastating effects on our health.
My Plans as Governor
As Governor, I will continue the fight to make sure all of our children inherit a clean, safe Commonwealth. I’ll invest in green energy production, bringing high paying jobs to the Commonwealth, protect funding for state parks, safeguard additional land for public use, and pass the Virginia Green New Deal.
- Transition to clean energy by 2035.
- Continue to fund a Director of Environmental Justice at the Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all Virginians to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalized communities are not disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.
- Continue to advocate against fracked-gas pipelines.
- Direct $2 million annual funding to the Solar Hands-On Instructional Network of Excellence.
- Expand the Major Research and Development Tax Credit to spur more investment in the development of new green products and improvements in cutting edge technologies while also working to expand research and development programs by strengthening relationships between UVA, VT, VSU, and Norfolk state university.
- Partner with HBCUs to support the next generation of Black solar entrepreneurs.
- Invest $3 million to spearhead a tax credit for commercial buildings that go green, including non residential buildings or interior buildings.
- Pass legislation requiring all new buildings to be certified LEED silver or higher.
- Ensure project labor agreement on every solar and wind project.
- Protect funding for state parks and safeguard additional land for public use.
- Continue the progress made to hit the 2025 target date for full restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
- Support farmers markets and local agriculture providers to sell organic produce especially in urban and rural areas that have limited access to nutritious, fresh food otherwise known as food deserts.
- Continue to allocate funding for the Green Job Tax Credit.
My Record & Experience
I ran for Delegate because the government’s inaction on climate change was a threat to every single child in Virginia and because my community has been particularly impacted by the climate crisis. In my four years in office, I proposed legislation to protect our environment, our communities, and the health and safety of all Virginians.
As a Delegate, I:
- Co-sponsored legislation to reward businesses and homeowners for investing in renewable energy.
- Co-sponsored legislation to reward property owners who switch to renewable energy
- Led efforts to force Dominion Energy to end polluting practices at Possum Point and across the Commonwealth that contaminated water ponds
- Passed legislation to clean up coal ash ponds in Southwest Virginia. Coal ash is a toxic byproduct of burning coal for energy. It has been stored in unlined coal ash ponds that have seeped into waterways and into people’s well water used for drinking. Jennifer’s legislation forces the responsible disposal of coal ash and remediation of coal ash sites.
- Co-sponsored legislation requiring utility companies who own or operate coal ash ponds in Chesapeake Bay watershed to test private and public water supply wells.
- Co-sponsored the Virginia Clean Economy Act, putting Virginia on a path to become a zero-carbon economy by 2050.
- Co-sponsored legislation to establish an Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
- Helped pass legislation to reward businesses and homeowners for investing in renewable energy and property owners who switch to renewable energy.
- Secured funding to protect and expand Widewater State Park to ensure access to green space, protect the park’s natural beauty, and enhance visitors’ experience.
- Co-sponsored Virginia Green New Deal legislation, which are principles and policies to achieve a zero-carbon emissions standard, create renewable energy jobs, increase investment in green energy infrastructure while protecting disproportionately impacted communities to ensure that no one is left behind as we create a clean energy future.
- Co-sponsored the Solar Freedom bill to promote distributed renewable energy and remove barriers to customer-sited solar by lifting net metering caps and power purchase agreement caps.
- Promoted Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to cut carbon emissions and invest in low-income energy efficiency and flood resilience over the next 10 years.
- Because of my record of getting results, I am proud to have earned a 100 percent grade from the Virginia Sierra Club in 2020.
More Issues & Priorities
- Access to Broadband
- Affordable Housing
- Childcare & Early Childhood Education
- Clean Government & Ethics
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Gender Equality
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Health Care
- Jobs & the Economy
- Labor & Working Families
- Protecting LGBTQIA+ Rights
- Racial Justice
- Supporting Immigrant Communities
- Supporting Virginians with Disabilities