Energy & Environment

EPA Carbon Plan will Kill 38,000 Virginia jobs, Report Says

By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Plan will boost Virginia’s electric rates 25 percent and eliminate 38,000 jobs in the state, a new study predicts.

“These EPA rules are aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from producers of coal power plants by either shutting them down or making their cost uncompetitive in the marketplace,” stated the report released Tuesday by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and the Beacon Hill Institute.

“If the electricity production from coal is eliminated, the diversity of the electricity supply sources will fall and become more dependent on natural gas and its price fluctuations. If the new expensive and untested carbon capture and sequestration technology is adopted electricity prices will increase.”

Researchers said higher electricity costs would “threaten the state’s industrial base.” Continue reading

EPA May Give Virginia Breathing Room on Air Rules

By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND — Virginia lawmakers backed down to the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan.” Now the EPA is pulling back on its own … for now.

EPA Director Gina McCarthy testified last week that her agency is prepared to deal with potential electric reliability problems through a “waiver or another process.”

Essentially admitting what critics of the plan have said all along — that arbitrary and abrupt mandates reducing carbon emissions would deplete generating capacity — McCarthy may give Virginia and other states more breathing room. Continue reading

Gov. McAuliffe Signs Bill to Protect Farmers and Land Owners

by Bryant Osborn | Corvallis Farms, Va

Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), which is a private 503(c) non-profit land trust, attracted a whole lot of unwanted attention by the General Assembly this year, and as a result, Gov. McAuliffe on Tuesday signed HB 1488, known as The Conservation Dispute Resolution Act, into law. It takes effect July 1st.

Martha Boneta and Del. Brenda Pogge introduced the bill in the General Assembly in January. At its introduction, Dr. Bonner Cohen of the property rights group National Center for Policy Research said, “We are calling on the legislature to protect property owners from a program that has no transparency, no standards and no protection for land owners.” Continue reading

Senate Passes Bill Sought by Dominion Facing EPA’s Clean Power Plan

By Matt Leonard | Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The state Senate has passed a bill that Dominion Virginia Power says would benefit consumers in a time of uncertainty but critics say is a gift to the powerful electric utility.

Senators voted 32-6 on Friday in favor of legislation that would prevent the State Corporation Commission from reviewing the company’s rates for five years and would freeze Dominion’s base rates during that period of time.

Dominion and other supporters for Senate Bill 1349 said it would help the company deal with the costs of complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires states to cut carbon emissions by 2030. Continue reading

Critical Virginia Bill Would Bar ‘Backdoor Energy Tax’

By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau

Carol Stopps, spokeswoman for the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, called it “one of the most important bills of the year.”

Randy Randol, energy/environment consultant for the federation, called the EPA plan “a backdoor energy tax on Virginia consumers.”

RICHMOND, Va. – Warning an Obama administration “Clean Power Plan” would sharply increase Virginians’ electric rates, Republican lawmakers want to put themselves between the Environmental Protection Agency and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Continue reading

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