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Thursday, December 1, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: New governor showing disdain for environment

Letter: New governor showing disdain for environment

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

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

Youngkin also has nominated former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Historic & Natural Resources. As former counsel to a key committee chaired by notorious climate-denier U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Wheeler is a good choice to promote Youngkin’s climate-denying agenda. In a letter shared with the Associated Press, 150 former EPA officials denounced the appointment.

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


With the appointment of Wheeler and Rolband to lead the state’s environmental program, Virginia voters have been driven from pillar to post. On the one hand, they don’t deserve a Department of Education that promotes CRT. They also don’t need a Department of Environmental Quality that promotes climate denial.

Audrey Clement, Arlington

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