Energy and Environmental Issues
$15 per gallon gas. A ban on fireplaces and wood stoves. No natural gas or oil for heating. Government-mandated vegetarianism. This could be our future. The overriding themes are political power and economic control, not saving the planet.
Energy policy is in the news daily. From “climate change” proponents and opponents, to how Dominion and Appalachian Power operate within Virginia, to what your gas and electric bills will be in the future, it touches our life in multiple ways.
We need to be good stewards of this land, but that the best way to support new and emerging science and technology is to let the free market decide. This means that entrenched energy companies cannot tilt the playing field, but neither can the wind/solar/alternate energy coalitions propped up by government subsidies. Less regulation means lower prices. Claims about the damage of fossil fuels need to be scrutinized, and dire warnings need to be measured against actual outcomes. If you hear politicians talk of “settled science” on climate, refer them to www.climatescienceinternational.org for another perspective.
Declaring global warming the greatest menace to the world, while not holding other countries to the same standards as the U.S. for pollution, shows that the impetus behind the movement is something other than cleaning up the environment. The most radical supporters of alternative fuels want a moratorium on the use of fossil fuels. In a post on Blue Virginia dated July 5, 2019, it is stated: “we can power our state 100% with clean, inexhaustible, and increasingly cheap renewable energy sources – offshore wind, solar, and of course energy efficiency (aka, “negawatts,” the cheapest energy being that which you don’t have to produce in the first place). Focus on the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters ignores the network of natural gas and oil pipelines already operating in the state. See http://www.virginiaplaces.org/transportation/gaspipeline.html for details.
Every year General Assembly members file a range of bills addressing energy and the environment. Many of these bills are technical in nature and require a specialized level of expertise to understand the implications contained within. Below are broad categories of legislation from last year’s session.
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program (RGGI): cap-and-trade on a multi-state basis. Both pro- and anti- bills were introduced in the last session. (HB2735 by David Toscano, SB1666 by Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. , HB2611 by Charles Poindexter)
- Utility Regulation: addressing profits, investment in solar, wind and other renewable energy. Placing a moratorium on use of fossil fuels, mandates renewables. Make coal and fossil fuels impossible to extract and transport. (HB1635 by Sam Rasoul, HB1686 by David Reid, SB1648 by Jennifer Boysko)
- SB1496, HB1902, HB2460: Renewable energy outside of large electric providers; encouraging development and use through tax credits, zoning. Tilting the playing field away from free markets.
- Aspiring to the Green New Deal: HJ 724 by Sam Rasoul, “retooling the Commonwealth’s economy with solutions that center on equity and justice.”
Back in the 1970’s, we read headlines about a coming ice age. Now, we are hearing about planetary disaster due to greenhouse gasses. How can we trust “settled science?”
Much discussion is taking place about carbon. We are talking about CO2, which plants need to survive. Manmade CO2 constitutes only a tiny percent of all atmospheric Greenhouse Gasses. https://www.shiftfrequency.com/man-made-co2-3-of-3-of-0-1/
There is already a network of pipelines for natural gas and oil throughout Virginia. If you agree that the pipelines should not be built, do you believe all current pipelines should be abandoned? Why or why not? Does this include urban pipelines supplying gas to homes and businesses?
Ask a “green” candidate: What mandatory rationing of fossil fuels would you recommend in order for Virginia to move toward 100% renewal energy?
The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine. What should we be using to meet our energy needs in those instances?
32% of all energy consumed in the U.S. (as of 2015) is by industry. How would your policies avoid an economic depression in the name of conservation?
Share your stories:
Do you heat exclusively with wood or coal? Does your family depend on mineral rights for income? Do you work for the pipeline contractors and have you been harassed? Have you found other ways to address energy conservation? Has your company been excluded from economic assistance because you don’t have the “right” connections? Have you been approached by solar farm proponents to convert your cropland? Does your industry use fossil fuels that have no alternative energy sources?
In opposition to our values: “Green” candidates: Sam Rasoul, who filed HJ 724, recognizing the need for a Green New Deal in Virginia. Also his house co-patrons in support of HJ 724 Green New Deal; recognizing the need for a clean energy economy. Jennifer McClellan, promoting distributed renewable solar and other renewable energy. Jerrauld Jones, promoting a tax credit for solar energy in non-residential areas.
Supporting our values: David Yancey filed a bill prohibiting state environmental regulations to be no stricter than federal law. Charles D. Poindexter filed HB1270 which prohibited participation by Virginia in the RGGI. That bill was vetoed by the Governor. Other patrons were: Gordon Helsel, Jr., Terry Kilgore, Dave LaRock, John McGuire, Israel O’Quinn, Robert M. Thomas, Jr., Thomas C. Wright, Jr.