Climate change. Whether or not politicians care to admit it, climate change is real, and Ralph has been fighting to address its effects for years. As a state senator, Ralph brought legislation to create a coastal flooding working group to study how Virginia’s coastal communities can prepare for the effects of climate change. Today, Ralph serves on the Governor’s climate change commission, which is tasked with recommending ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ralph is committed to fighting air pollution to benefit our natural resources, but also, as a pediatrician, to protect public health against the respiratory illnesses and chronic lung conditions, like childhood asthma, that are exacerbated by air pollution.
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia needs a champion to defend the Chesapeake Bay from the Trump Administration’s threats to the agencies that protect it. Ralph is a strong advocate for the Chesapeake Bay, and led the charge to protect the bay from non-native oysters, as well as to ban the winter dredging of blue crabs. As a state senator, Ralph carried legislation to remove phosphorus from home fertilizers in order to reduce chemical runoff into the bay. He’s also supported efforts to provide state funding for oyster restoration. Ralph has long opposed offshore drilling in Virginia, and in 2016, helped lead the resistance to Virginia’s involvement in federal oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.
Renewable energy production. Ralph believes in prioritizing clean energy innovation. In the state senate, Ralph held electric companies accountable by voting for policies that, if passed, would have cracked down on utilities profiting on renewable energy incentives by purchasing credits for power generated outside Virginia instead of investing in the commonwealth. He also voted in favor of solar power and wind energy legislation, diversifying Virginia’s energy economy and reducing the state’s carbon footprint.