Letter: New governor shows contempt for environmental issues | Letters to the Editor

Editor: In November 2021, Virginians handed Republicans a major victory over their opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT), which teaches that white people — but not black people — are inherently racist. Democrat Terry McAuliffe denied that CRT was taught in Virginia schools. Glenn Youngkin provided proof that it did, and the rest is history.

On his first day in office, Governor Youngkin betrayed the sacred trust Virginians had just placed in him by reintroducing another baseless theory: climate denial. He did so by signing an executive order ending Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the goal of which is to reduce climate emissions by putting a price on carbon and using the product for energy renovations and flood prevention measures.

Youngkin also named former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler as secretary of historic and natural resources. As a former adviser to a key committee chaired by notorious U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a climate denier, Wheeler is a good fit to promote Youngkin’s climate denial agenda. In a letter shared with The Associated Press, 150 former EPA officials denounced the appointment.

Another questionable appointment is that of Michael Rolband as head of the Department of Environmental Quality. Rolband is the founder of Wetlands Studies and Solutions Inc., which is the consultant for numerous wetland projects in Northern Virginia, some of which have been challenged for providing questionable environmental benefits.

With the appointment of Wheeler and Rolband to lead the state’s environmental agenda, Virginia voters were driven from pillar to pillar. On the one hand, they don’t deserve a Ministry of Education that promotes the CRT. Nor do they need an Environmental Quality Department that promotes climate denial.

Audrey Clement, Arlington

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