David J. Toscano, Delegate from the 57th District (Charlottesville/Albemarle) and the Democratic Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, today issued the following statement:
If the federal government will not act, states need to take an even stronger leadership role to combat climate change.
The President’s action today is extremely disappointing, but not unexpected. During his campaign, Donald Trump indicated that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and now he has delivered on that pledge. His action removes this nation from an agreement that has broad-based support in the international community. This will not only have a dramatic impact on our environment and our economy, but will lessen the role of the United States’ leadership in the world. Refusing to confront climate change will not reduce the real threat it poses to our lives and our children’s lives.
“If the federal government will not act, states need to take an even stronger leadership role to combat climate change. Several months ago, I requested an Attorney General’s opinion on how the state could act independently to cut carbon emissions. The opinion clearly states that we have broad authority to do more in our state and to make Virginia a leader in creating a clean energy economy. Today’s decision by the Trump administration only reinforces our commitment to finding ways for Virginia to join with other states to protect our environment and cut the rising carbon emissions that threaten our planet.”