Kaine: Hampton Roads at risk from sea level rise
Kaine discussed Pruitt’s unwillingness to accept the basic scientific consensus that human-generated CO2 emissions are a significant cause of climate change. Kaine also spoke about the impacts of climate change on Virginia, including rising sea levels in Hampton Roads, as he made the case that the EPA needs a leader who will follow the best science to ensure that Americans have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.
“Hampton Roads is home to the largest concentration of naval power in the world, yet is the second largest coastal population center at risk from sea level rise,” Kaine said. “What we are seeing throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia is that neighborhoods where you could normally sell or buy a house 15 years ago, you now can’t because normal tidal action renders the homes impossible to sell….the main road into the largest naval base in the world in Norfolk, by 2040, will be covered two to three hours a day just by normal tidal action.”
“Science is the pursuit of truth. Science is supposed to follow where the facts lead no matter what the scientist’s initial views might be. Mr. Pruitt’s record does not show me that he will follow the data wherever it leads. What it tells me is that when there is a menu of options he will take the option most beneficial to polluters rather than beneficial to public health,” Kaine continued. “There is no federal agency that needs someone more who accepts science and scientific consensus than the EPA. It matters deeply to Virginia.”