Energy Rollbacks Hit Senate Democrats’ Brick Wall
February 28, 2022
Today, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee blocked passage of several bills that would undo the environmental protections and clean energy economy developed by Virginia Democrats in the past two years.
Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, Chair of the Commerce and Labor Committee, said: “Virginia’s future economy relies on forward-thinking, innovative approaches to prepare the Commonwealth for the challenges of tomorrow. Climate change is an existential threat. Developing a clean economy that addresses those threats and readies the energy sector for the demands of tomorrow is imperative for continued growth and environmental responsibility.”
Senator Lionell Spruill, Chair of the Energy Subcommittee, said: “Living in a coastal community, my constituents know firsthand the very real impacts of climate change. Homes and businesses are flooded regularly due to sea level rise, and Virginians keenly understand the implications of ignoring the science of global warming.
Senate Democrats’ dedication to addressing the climate crises didn’t stop when we passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act and participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–they continued today when we stood together against their repeal.”
- HB73 (Ware) – Removes energy efficiency standards for pilot programs, aggregate capacity requirements for renewable energy facilities, and the SCC’s power to determine reasonable cost recovery for renewable energy facilities.
- HB74 (Ware) – Guts the Virginia Clean Economy Act by allowing carbon-dioxide emitting energy generation locations to subvert fair pricing standards.
- HB118 (Freitas) – Repeals provisions related to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative requiring the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to adopt regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The bill also repeals provisions that prohibit construction of new energy-generating projects that produce carbon dioxide emissions.