Environmental activists and likely 2013 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe will gather in Richmond on Saturday to push Virginia to expand off-shore wind energy use.
Conference organizers say they expect about 200 people at the event, which will be held at CenterStage in Richmond and will conclude in the afternoon with a march on the state Capitol.
They are dubbing the event as the first time “ordinary citizens – not just politicians – have come together to become a part of bringing clean, offshore energy to our state.”
But that’s not to say the event won’t be helpful for some politicians. It offers McAuliffe, who owns an electric car company, an opportunity to discuss his favorite past and possibly future campaign issue: How he believes Virginia is falling behind in creating jobs through the green economy.
And Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond), who has been steadily building his progressive profile and is widely thought to be considering a run for higher office, will deliver the conference keynote.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) says he supports off-shore wind production — along with other energy sources such as oil, coal and nuclear — but environmentalists think he has not been working hard enough to explore wind, compared to frequent cheerleading for off-shore oil drilling.
Groups involved include Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, Green Jobs Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, the Virginia Sierra Club and Virginia Conservation Network.