Climate Battleground: Virginia March 8, 2013 : 4:34 PM

The 2014 Virginia gubernatorial race will pit well-known Democrat Terry McAuliffe against unabashed GOP climate-denier Ken Cuccinelli. The race offers a fascinating test for climate deniers: will their continued denial of the scientific consensus on the climate crisis work in an increasingly “purple” state? Read more about the contest in the National Journal:

"The leading Republican candidate, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, is an unapologetically partisan firebrand who has drawn the national spotlight for his crusade against the science of climate change. He launched a two-year investigation of University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann—which the Virginia Supreme Court eventually shut down. He has sued to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the fossil-fuel pollution that causes global warming. In his new book, The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty, Cuccinelli ramped up his attack on EPA’s climate rules, warning that they’ll slow the U.S. economy and force Americans to live in a future of brownouts and endless gas-station lines."

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"The battle will play out across a landscape that is a concentrated microcosm of the environmental and economic dilemmas facing policymakers. Virginia’s Eastern Shore is among the regions most vulnerable to severe physical and economic disruption from climate change. Several scientific studies have named Norfolk as one of the three U.S. cities most at risk of damage from extreme storms and flooding exacerbated by climate change. A study of the impact of global warming on the coastal region of Hampton Roads, home to the world’s largest naval base, the only U.S. shipyard that builds nuclear submarines, and the tourist mecca of Virginia Beach, found that rising sea levels could wreak up to $25 billion of economic havoc over time."