Washington, DC — Today, author Bill McKibben and 350 Action, a national organization working to change the politics of climate change, endorsed Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum for Florida governor. As Mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum has been a vocal opponent of the Sabal Trail pipeline and a supporter of publicly owned renewable energy. He presented plans to transition Florida’s energy system off of fossil fuels and create jobs in the process in 350 Action’s candidate questionnaire. See Gillum’s full responses here.
“It’s exciting to see the leaders of the future emerging and demanding fossil free solutions in their states,” 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said. “Florida needs them badly — no state has more at risk from climate change, and so a governor who understands where prosperity really lies is essential. When Andrew Gillum is governor, the Sunshine State will actually learn to run on sun.”
“Florida needs a governor who meets the rising seas and hurricane floodwaters with bold climate action, not boldfaced denial,” 350 Action Executive Director May Boeve said. “Andrew Gillum has been a powerful voice against fossil fuels and is a force for renewable energy solutions that put communities first in Tallahassee. As governor, Gillum would help bring a wave of green jobs, fostering ground-up solutions for the whole Sunshine State.”
Along with opposing Sabal Trail, Gillum has spoken out against the Keystone XL pipeline, a project his opponent Gwen Graham supported. Speaking about fossil fuel projects, Gillum said in his questionnaire, “These pipelines are not only an antiquated relic of an old energy system, but they’re a massive threat to communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by oil pipeline plans. As Governor, I would use every lever of power I have to fight these pipelines at the federal and state levels.”
In place of fossil fuels, Gillum is committed to a just transition to renewable energy in Florida, which his experience shows. He said, “I believe that Florida needs a massive transformation of its clean energy industry. In Tallahassee, during the same week that Donald Trump was withdrawing us from the Paris Climate Accord I was breaking ground on a 120-acre solar farm that will triple my City’s solar energy capacity. I will push for an expansion of these clean energy programs to more areas of our state so we can create good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.”
Gillum’s plans are grounded in environmental justice and ground-up solutions. Speaking about Belle Glade, a largely African-American community in South Florida facing over-reliance from the sugar industry along with poor health and education outcomes, Gillum said, “Politicians talk about how to improve the Glades all the time, yet I never see anyone from that community at the table,” Gillum added, “We need to talk about how communities of color are disproportionately affected by the environmental impacts of industry, and how the transition to new technologies requires us to make investments in the working people who will be affected by these changes.”
350 Action is empowering voters across the country to make a direct impact in the most important climate races in the nation. This year, 350 Action has also endorsed U.S. congressional candidates Deb Haaland (NM-1) and Greg Edwards (PA-7), and gubernatorial candidates Ben Jealous (D-MD) and Cathy Glasson (D-IA).
Contact: Dani Heffernan, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (305) 992-1544