Statement on Proposed Energy Legislation – HB 1558

Zero Carbon Virginia is a group of Virginian scientists, engineers, economists and public health experts who seek to guide our state toward practical, cost-effective, sustainable, healthy, and therefore ultimately carbon- free, energy production and distribution technologies. Driven by the urgency to address public health, climate change and the economic and quality-of-life opportunities that are enabled by advanced technologies, we seek long-term solutions, in collaboration with legislators and other groups, that will allow Virginia to lead in low cost, clean energy production.

We applaud the efforts of all who are working to move Virginia’s energy infrastructure and economy forward. HB 1558 represents an ambitious plan to shape Virginia’s energy future. Such a consequential plan must be deliberated, must be clear and transparent, and must serve the interests of all Virginians. Currently this bill does not meet these criteria.

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Legislative Update – January 27, 2018

Our list of energy policy related bills submitted for Virginia’s 2018 Legislative session is updated here.

Two tracked bills have already failed to make it out of committee –SB 9 Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings, transitional rate period and SB 696 Va. Alternative Energy & Coastal Protection Act; regulations to establish carbon dioxide cap, etc.

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Legislative Action – Senate Bill 696: Cap and Trade

SB 696 Va. Alternative Energy & Coastal Protection Act; regulations to establish carbon dioxide cap, etc would put legislative support behind Governor McAuliffe’s initiative to establish a carbon trading program for Virginia. The bill is up on Thursday in the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources for consideration.

Show your support for this bill by contacting the Senators on this committee, especially if you are one of their constituents:

Stuart(Chairman), Hanger, Ruff, Obenshain, Petersen, Marsden, Stanley, Black, Ebbin, Lewis, Chafin, Dance,Suetterlein, Mason, McClellan

Call and write these senators to make your voice heard. Draft your own email or use this Support of SB 696 – Model Email to contact these Senators and show your support for SB 696.

Act early, the bill is the 2nd item on the committee’s agenda. The committee meets 1/2-hour after the Senate Session adjourns.

A Time for Bold Action in Richmond

Virginia’s 2018 legislative session begins on January 10. On January 7, I spoke at the Loudoun delegation’s legislative hearing in Leesburg, Virginia. Here is what I said.

President Obama said, “The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it… and if we do not get this issue right, every other issue we deal with will be adversely affected.” Taking action on climate change is a moral imperative.

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The Paris Agreement

In June, 2017, I attended The future of the Paris Agreement and global climate change cooperation without U.S. leadership at the Brookings Institution. The event focused  on what is next for the Paris Climate Accord following Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will leave the agreement. There were many good insights, but what struck me most was the enormity of Trump’s actions.

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Welcome to Zero Carbon Virginia

With the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world committed to taking serious action on climate change. The agreement is a monumental achievement that brings together almost every country on the planet to pursue limiting end-of-century temperature rise to two degrees Celsius or less. It brings together countries that have added tremendous amounts of carbon to the atmosphere with those that have added little; it brings together countries that are well developed and countries that are just reaping the rewards of development. It brings all these countries together in a framework that commits them to work toward the agreement’s common goal regardless of each country’s perspective as a victim, a contributor, or a neutral player.

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