Conservation Network 125 NONPROFIT AND COMMUNITY GROUPS WORKING TOGETHER FOR A CLEANER, HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT

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1 Virginia Conservation Network 125 NONPROFIT AND COMMUNITY GROUPS WORKING TOGETHER FOR A CLEANER, HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT

2 Nathan Lott, VCN Va. Greenforce Summit Feb. 16, 2011 Public Policy & The Green Workforce

3 Statewide workgroups drive policy Legislative Committee crafts strategy VCN Staff research and educate VCN Board sets priorities About Va. Conservation Network

4 VCN Members & Mission Membership:125 nonprofit and community groups working together for a cleaner, healthier environment Mission: The Virginia Conservation Network combines the voices of environmental organizations across Virginia to conserve our commonwealth s natural resources and ensure its future prosperity.

5 Our Mission in Action Aggregate Power Combined Expertise Collaborative Advocacy Elevate Issues Public Officials Opinion Leaders & Media Grassroots Attain Conservation Victories General Assembly Regulatory Process

6 VCN Resources www. V C N V A.org Our Common Agenda Briefing Book E-Action Campaigns Conservation Events Grants Job Openings Give Online Events and Training Legislative Contact Teams Conservation Lobby Day Virginia Environmental Assembly

7 Why a Green Workforce Matters to VCN Clean Energy: Home energy audits and retrofits, renewable energy manufacturing and installation Healthy Rivers: Green infrastructure installation, upgrading stormwater and sewer systems Green Communities: Transit operations, sustainable agriculture, wildlife habitat restoration, eco-tourism

8 Setting A Common Agenda VCN Workgroups 5 issues: energy, water, land conservation, land use/transportation, uranium mining Open to all VCN affiliate members Draft white papers Watchdog regulations Legislative Committee Reviews white papers for Briefing Book Assess legislative strategy Recommend priorities Meet twice weekly during session

9 Advancing Our Common Agenda Policy Makers Briefing Book to all legislators, agencies In-district meetings with key volunteers Sample bills, support to champions Testify to committees Leverage mass media Citizens Legislative Contact Teams Legislative Workshop Conservation Lobby Day {Jan. 17, Richmond} updates and online activism

10 Public Policy Matters

11 Status Quo = the Result of Policy Federal Policy Energy Subsidies Weatherization Regulation Education Farm Subsidies Transportation R&D Grants Stimulus State and Local Policy Building Codes SCC Certificates, DEQ Permits Economic Development Education Transportation RPS

12 Public Policy Can Drive Change Level the Energy Playing Field Focus Economic Development on Green Firms, Sync with Workforce Development Phase Out Crop Subsidies, Increase Conservation Payments, Prioritize Local Procurement Fund Transit Operations and Road Maintenance Create Markets (e.g. Carbon, Nutrients)

13 Clean Energy

14 Key Energy Opportunities Solar Energy and Net Metering {ceiling being raise, need to allow aggregation} {municipal financing through VRA, need homeowner options} Energy Efficiency {cost recovery in place, weatherization, need rate reform/price signals} Offshore Wind {Fed. smart from the start target area, Gamesa design project} Manufacturing {tax credit, economic development fund}

15 Green Commutes

16 Key Transportation Opportunities Transit Operations and Maintenance {operations fund established, fed. high-speed rail underway} Electric and Hybrid Cars {manufacturing uncertain, servicing likely} Bicycle and Pedestrian Options {retrofitting streets, maintenance and enterprise}

17 Healthy Rivers

18 Key Water Opportunities Agricultural BMPs {Chesapeake restoration is driver, enterprise unclear} {offset and trading markets presently limited} Stormwater Management {Phosphorus fertilizer ban is start, green infrastructure retrofits needed} {MS4s will likely drive compliance} Water Infrastructure {wastewater treatment and industrial upgrades} {replacing aging water infrastructure to increase efficiency}

19 Sustainable Agriculture

20 Key Agriculture Opportunities Local Food {farmer s markets, farm-to-school/institution} {local hub in Charlottesville, wholesale enterprise opportunities} Ecosystem Services {carbon, nutrient markets may emerge} {federal subsidies distort markets, conservation programs underfunded} Intergenerational Transfer {VDACS matching program, financing hurdles for would-be farmers}

21 Virginia Conservation Network FACEBOOK.COM/VCNVAorg

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