So, a mere hour or two after I posted this last Wednesday, I got a phone call from gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds’ people, who were eager to take me up on the offer I’d made in the post: "I’d love for Deeds to convince me that he’s stronger on the environment than he seems thus far."
Well, sort of eager. The spokesperson who called didn’t really want to discuss any issues, beyond assuring me that the environment is important to Creigh; instead, he wanted to send me some information. And he did in fact send me an e-mail on Friday that contained a list of Deeds’ environmental projects and proposals. Among these are a 1994 fight to get funding for landfill cleanup in Alleghany County, a plan for an "energy-based research consortium" that would bring in federal money for scientific research (some of it green), and a plan to give homeowners tax credits for solar panels and wind turbines.
All well and good. But I’m not seeing anything new here. I stand by what I said: Deeds’ platform meets what I would consider to be the minimum standard of environmental concern for a Democratic candidate, and although he’s probably the greener candidate than Republican rival McDonnell, his campaign is not emphasizing these important issues. There’s nothing in the information I received about mountaintop removal, though I specifically raised that issue in my post and on the phone with Deeds’ spokesperson. The local food economy is also conspicuous by its absence.
What I wish for is a candidate who puts the environment front and center, who is not afraid to talk about how crucial these issues are, beyond just touting piecemeal (if commendable) accomplishments. We need broader change than either candidate is promising.
It’s frustrating that I’ll probably end up voting for Deeds anyway, just to do my part in keeping McDonnell out.