How Virginia’s Green New Deal Will Add to Residents’ COVID-19 Costs


While many Virginia residents are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, their elected officials from Gov. Ralph Northam on down are increasing their financial burdens with radical Green New Deal-style programs, energy policy analysts say.

Renewable energy mandates and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions recently signed into law by Northam, a Democrat, are economically and scientifically unsound, these critics argue.

Supporters, however, counter that the new environmental regulations are needed to put Virginia “on the path to clean energy” and help the state combat climate change.

The “Virginia Clean Economy Act” creates renewable standards that, for example, require Dominion Energy Virginia to be 100% carbon-free by 2045 and Appalachian Power to be 100% carbon-free by 2050.

The new law also says that almost all of the state’s coal-fired power plants must be closed by 2024.

The legislation was the result of “extensive stakeholder input and incorporates environmental justice concepts related to the Green New Deal,” the governor’s office said in April.

Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates free-market policies, argues that with the Virginia General Assembly’s shift this year from Republican to Democratic control, green energy initiatives became a top priority …read more