What is unique about protecting Virginia’s (natural) resources?
I am not sure there is anything unique about protecting Virginia’s natural resources, but I remain committed to managing Virginia’s resources in a sustainable manner and regulating the use of those that risk great public harm. We need to sustainably manage our forests in ways that will ensure they continue to serve as sources of fresh drinking water, fiber for commerce and habitat for wildlife. We need to improve management of runoff of nutrients and sediment that threaten to further degrade the Chesapeake Bay and its ability to provide our bounty of seafood and places of recreation and enjoyment. I remain committed to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Virginia may have abundant coal deposits, but their extraction and use are altering the climate and endangering our health and safety.
Are you worried about the effects of climate change on the children of Virginia?
I am deeply concerned about climate change. It is happening and the predictions of adverse consequences are occurring at rates even faster than predicted. We can, however, still enact policies that will enable us to avoid the worst consequences and a diminished environment future generations will otherwise be destined to endure.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
The most successful and enduring public policies are those enacted with broad-based, bipartisan support. As we have recently witnessed with passage of the Affordable Care Act, comprehensive policies enacted by just one political party by a very slim margin, are viewed as illegitimate and remain the target of campaigns to repeal or revise them.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
Stay in this fight. The battle will not be won in Congress until enough people engage in the political process. Members who oppose policies responding to climate change must be convinced they are on the wrong side of their electorate and the wrong side of history.
Congressman Jim Moran is serving his twelfth term as U.S. Representative from Virginia’s 8th District, made up of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. He is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, serving as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment and also on the Defense and Legislative Branch Subcommittees. In the mid-1990’s, Congressman Moran co-founded the New Democratic Coalition, a group of approximately 50 House Democrats committed to fiscal responsibility, free and fair trade, technology, and maintaining America’s security and economic competitiveness.