Virginia’s first Commission on Climate Change met in Richmond on Friday, and heard a warning from Governor Tim Kaine that climate change is the environmental issues of this and the next generation. In the absence of action at the federal level, Governor Kaine said, Virginia’s actions can and must be focused on what can be accomplished by the state and its residents. Governor Kaine established the Commission on Climate Change via Executive Order #59 on December 21, 2007, and charged the group with preparing a Climate Change Action Plan that will inventory Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions and projections through 2025; evaluate the expected effects of climate change on Virginia’s natural resources, the health of its citizens, and its economy; and make recommendations for actions that will achieve additional reductions in greenhouse gas production. The Commission’s report to the Governor is due on December 15 of this year.
The 43-member panel is chaired by L. Preston Bryant, Jr., Secretary of Natural Resources, and includes two other cabinet members, seven General Assembly members, and former Lt. Governor Don Beyer. Northern Virginians on the Commission include realtor LuAnn Bennett, Arlington County Clerk Paul Ferguson, Stuart Freudberg, a Fairfax County resident who is director of Environmental Programs at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and me. Commission members were arrayed on the dais of a General Assembly hearing room for the first meeting. After being sworn in by Secretary of the Commonwealth (and former Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chair) Kate Hanley, panel members spent the rest of the session hearing presentations about the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Commission members are “state officials” under the provisions of the Act), Virginia’s Energy Plan, and the Commission’s extensive proposed work plan. Several members of the public testified at the end of the session.
The Commission will hold eight public meetings throughout the Commonwealth. The next one is planned for March 27 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Information about the Climate Change Commission, including the power point presentations from Friday’s meeting, may be accessed on-line at www.deq.virginia.gov/info/climatechange.html.
Are you a coffee drinker? Want to try something new? If so, you might be interested in the new “Jaguar Joe” offered by students at Falls Church High School. Developed through a series of test roasts and test tastes at Beanetics, the coffee roaster shop in downtown Annandale, “Jaguar Joe” is a unique blend of coffee beans available only through Falls Church High School. Log on to www.fcps.edu/FallsChurchHS/ to access the order form. Orders will be processed when payment is received, and checks should be made payable to Falls Church High School.