Earlier this year, Virginia House Delegate Christopher Stolle (R) told Virginia State Senator Ralph Northam (D) that the terms “climate change” and “sea-level rise” are “liberal code words” that must be removed from an environmental study request, reports the Virginian-Pilot.
Even though Republicans control the state’s general assembly and senate, they voted to approve $138K to fund the study after State Senator Northam agreed that the term “sea-level rise” would be swapped out for “recurrent flooding.”
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said publicly that he does not believe human activity is influencing the earth’s climate. His administration closed [previous] Gov. Kaine’s climate change commission, which had produced numerous reports on the threats posed to the state by sea-level rise and warmer temperatures.
Additionally, Gov. McDonnell’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, tried to force University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan to turn over scientists’ records and internal communications on climate change studies.
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The state’s Supreme Court ultimately sided with Sullivan earlier this year, but she’s since announced plans to resign due to an unspecified “philosophical difference of opinion."