Ken Cuccinelli on Environment



Reform eminent domain laws; only for true public uses

From 2005 up to the present day, Ken has worked tirelessly to pass meaningful eminent domain laws that now prevent local and state governments from taking private homes and businesses for developers' projects instead of for true public uses.

Prior to assuming the office of Attorney General, Ken was a small business owner and partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day, in Fairfax. He was a business law attorney with a particular focus on serving as an outsourced general counsel to small and mid-sized companies. His wide range of experience included litigation, licensing, financing, employment, advertising, branding, corporate formation, business transactions and contracts for both domestic and international clients. Ken also had experience in public interest, constitutional law and property rights cases.

Source: VA Governor 2013 campaign website, cuccinelli.com, "Issues" , Mar 23, 2013

Join with EPA for stormwater management

During my term as attorney general, I authorized my office to join the EPA in stormwater management cases against major homebuilders. I had even applauded the agency's efforts to punish those polluters while at the same time working out balanced settlements to achieve environmental compliance without hindering the ability of these companies to continue their needed work in my state.

My concern was that in making such huge financial sacrifices in terms of lost jobs, higher energy costs, and more expensive food and consumer products, we needed to make sure that the environmental regulations thrust on the country were based on the best science available; that for the incredible price we were paying, those regulations had a good chance of working.

Source: Last Line of Defense, by Ken Cuccinelli, p.174 , Feb 12, 2013

Regulating water runoff is not part of Clean Water Act

In 2011, the EPA determined that the sediment in the Accotink Creek bed was being carried further downstream by stormwater. The EPA said that the more water that flowed, the more sediment flowed with it.

Rather than establish a daily limit for the sediment, the EPA instead elected to regulate the amount of water that flowed into the creek, as if water were the pollutant. Unfortunately for the EPA, the Clean Water Act specifically spells out a comprehensive list of the types of pollutants that it can regulate, and water is definitely not one of them.

The agency moved forward to require the state to cut the creek's maximum water flow (not the sediment flow) in half! To achieve that kind of massive reduction, people near the Accotinik would be forced to build structures to capture and retain stormwater to prevent excess runoff into the creek. This edict gave the EPA a new power, effectively allowing it to regulate water runoff (not just pollutant runoff) from private property.

Source: Last Line of Defense, by Ken Cuccinelli, p.205-206 , Feb 12, 2013

Federal coal mining permits usurp state authority

In 2011, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement--the OSM, an obscure executive agency--created aggressive new directives to interfere with states' issuance of coal mining permits in an attempt to overrule state oversight authority

The problem was that the OSM's newly "discovered" authority had never been authorized by Congress. This overreach by the OSM was clearly illegal, in defiance of Congress, and a usurpation of state authority.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I was surprised. During his presidential campaign, Obama had said unabashedly that he wanted to put the coal industry out of business. He felt it was too harmful for the environment. For the government to continue to let the industry exist, despite the fact that coal provides nearly half of all electricity for the US, as well as jobs for some of the poorest areas of the country. The OSM's move showed that this promise to bankrupt the coal industry was a promise the president was intent on keeping.

Source: Last Line of Defense, by Ken Cuccinelli, p. 12-13 , Feb 12, 2013

Kill rats around Occupy DC camps; don't move them to VA

Cuccinelli smells a rat. He is outraged by a DC law that regulates how exterminating companies capture pests.

Cuccinelli has been sharply critical of the Occupy movement; he has discussed published reports about an increase in rat populations around Occupy DC camps. Then he's turned to the DC pest-control law and painted it as an example of ridiculous regulation. The DC law "doesn't allow them to kill the dang rats," Cuccinelli said in a Jan. 13 interview. "They have to capture them in families." Cuccinelli said the law requires relocation of the trapped rats [including] setting them free in Virginia.

The law cited by Cuccinelli does prohibit using various traps to catch some kinds of urban wildlife. The law also calls for catching animals alive and relocating whole pest families when possible. But here's the catch: The pardon does not extend to rats. The first page of the law specifically exempts "commensal rodents"--common rats and mice that pilfer human food. So Cuccinelli got it wrong.

Source: PolitiFact.com on 2013 Virginia governor debates , Jan 13, 2012

EPA should stand for "the Employment Prevention Agency"

Cuccinelli said on Jan. 17th, 2011 in a speech to Tea Party activists, Cuccinelli, an unabashed critic of global warming claims, called the Environmental Protection Agency "the Employment Prevention Agency." While discussing the EPA's endangerment finding that greenhouse gasses "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations," Cuccinelli voiced contempt for new regulations.
Source: PolitiFact.com on 2013 Virginia governor debates , Jan 28, 2011

Other governors on Environment: Ken Cuccinelli on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
VA Senatorial:
Ed Gillespie
Mark Warner
Robert Sarvis
Tim Kaine

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
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MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
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OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
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AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
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RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
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ID-R: Butch Otter
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ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
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NH-D: Maggie Hassan
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NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
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TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
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WY-R: Matt Mead
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
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Page last updated: Nov 28, 2014