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Washington Post: Virginia Democrats Push Environmental Change

Posted by Gregory S. Schneider on Mar 2, 2020

The Washington Post covered the Virginia Clean Economy Act, among other energy bills, noting Dominion's control in the state quoting the bill patron Senator Jennifer McClellan and noting AEE's role in developing this comprehensive bill. Read excerpts below and the entire Washington Post piece here. 

Lawmaking that affects electric utilities in Virginia — especially the biggest one, Dominion Energy — has long been an exclusive arena of big dollars, connected lobbyists and predictable outcomes... Democrats ran last year on a crusade to shatter that tradition.

With majorities in both chambers now, they’re achieving mixed results. Lawmakers are on the verge of enacting sweeping environmental bills that commit the state for the first time to eliminating fossil-fuel-based energy. In a switch, the bills originated from the work of a group of energy technology companies and environmentalists, instead of from Dominion and its army of lobbyists...

The ambitious package, known as the Virginia Clean Economy Act, originated last year when members of the Advanced Energy Economy industry group began contacting legislators. AEE is supported by companies that have a stake in new energy technologies — Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Apple and Ingersoll Rand, along with dozens of smaller businesses. The group reached out to industry associations and environmental groups and, in consultation with several lawmakers, proposed a complex bill that would recast the state’s energy future.

Different versions have passed the House and Senate, but in essence, the legislation would:

●Mandate that 100 percent of electricity in Dominion’s service area comes from renewable sources by 2045, and by 2050 for Appalachian Power, which serves the far Southwest. The House and Senate are haggling over those dates... (key points are bulleted).

“Given how far behind Virginia is on addressing climate change, . . . this bill will be the largest leap forward [the state] has ever made,” said Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan (D-Richmond), who sponsored her chamber’s version of the measure...

Read the entire Washington Post piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News