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Environment & Energy

From the Chesapeake Bay to the Cumberland Gap, Virginia’s great outdoors are a priceless treasure that Tim is determined to safeguard for future generations to enjoy. Tim has long been an outspoken leader in support of clean energy and other policies to combat climate change, and believes the country that won World War II and the race to put a man on the moon should be able to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Tim believes that America’s energy production should always trend towards a cleaner tomorrow than today. He supports investing in renewable energy, including offshore wind and solar, which would not only make Virginia a leader in clean energy development and create new jobs that can’t be outsourced, but would also reduce pollution and bolster our national security.

As part of that effort, Tim helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, historic legislation that will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030 by incentivizing investment in and production of renewable energy. This bill is expected to create nearly 1 million jobs per year and reduce energy costs. As Governor, Tim also put in place the Commonwealth’s first comprehensive clean energy plan.

Virginia faces a unique set of challenges because of its coastal exposure to sea level rise caused by climate change, and Tim is committed to reducing this risk. Tim has been a leader on efforts to combat sea level rise and flooding in Hampton Roads, which threaten readiness at local military installations and homes in the surrounding communities. Tim introduced the BUILD Resilience Act, which would spur investments in resilient infrastructure to reduce the risk of climate effects like flooding and extreme storms to communities like Hampton Roads. He successfully passed his EMBRACE Act to authorize the Department of Defense (DOD) to carry out stormwater management projects at military installations to improve resilience at the facilities while protecting stormwater-impacted ecosystems and waterways, such as those that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Tim respects the role coal production has historically played in coal communities in Southwest Virginia, and as Governor, he supported the construction of the state-of-the-art Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County, one of the most advanced clean coal plants in the United States. Tim has supported clean coal research funding that could help revitalize Southwest Virginia’s economy, and he has cosponsored legislation to stimulate large-scale federal and private sector investment to reduce carbon pollution through advanced clean coal technologies. He recognizes the sacrifice coal miners have made over a lifetime of dangerous work, and he is fighting on their behalf in the Senate so they receive their hard-earned pensions and health benefits. In 2022, he helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which included a permanent extension of the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax at a higher rate, providing certainty for miners, miner retirees, and their families who rely on the fund to access benefits.

Tim has also pushed for robust funding for heating assistance programs. He has continually joined colleagues of both parties to urge the President and Senate appropriators to boost funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), two programs that play an important role in providing vulnerable populations and low-income households with affordable home energy.