If we’re going to save the planet, Virginia must support forced unionization.
At least that’s what the Democrats who support the Virginia Green New Deal believe.
Democrat Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, led a summit meeting with other supporters of his Virginia Green New Deal project in Fairfax earlier this month.
Surprisingly, Rasoul’s massive environmental pitch isn’t about environmentalism — it’s about changing the nature of society.
“The Green New Deal is not an environmental plan,” said Del. Sam Rasoul (D-11th), who leads the coalition in the Virginia General Assembly with Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st). “…The Green New Deal is an intersectionality. It is where economic, social and environmental justice intersect…”
“…What’s cool about the Green New Deal is it brings together these social justice, environmental justice, and economic justice advocates who believe that, together, we have a lot of common interests,” Rasoul said. “It’s great to see that happening here in Virginia and across the country.”
Rasoul and his colleagues took their first pass at passing the “cool” Green New Deal earlier this year with House Bill 1635 — a bill that would have closed virtually every power plant in Virginia in just 8 years.
Coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear plants would all be forced offline, and any new fossil fuel infrastructure — and some maintenance of existing infrastructure — would be forbidden.
Implementing the bill would cost $9 billion per year in higher electrical charges, according to an analysis done by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Virginia spent $10 billion or so on electricity in 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The bill was so extreme that Democrats tried to water it down on the floor of the House. When they failed, all but a handful voted against it.
Bizarrely, the plan also calls for the repeal of Virginia’s Right to Work law. A bedrock of Virginia labor law until recently, the law forbids the practice of forced unionization.
If workers want to join a union, they may. If they don’t want to join a union, they don’t have to. Repealing the law would allow unions to sign contracts with employers that require membership as a condition of employment.
The connection between unionization and carbon emissions is murky at best.
But it would certainly be a Great New Deal for unions and the Democrats they support.