Is Landfill Gas a Renewable Form of Energy? The Majority of VA’s Reps Apparently Thought So


    When you think of landfill gas (which I’m sure you’re often inclined to do), what comes to mind? Landfill? Gas? Images of garbage stacked on top of one another? What about renewable energy? If by some reason you happened to think of the latter, you and Del. John Cosgrove in particular have something in common.

    As part of my attempt to point out some of the ridiculous environmental bills that were passed through this session of the General Assembly alone, witness HB232. This bill “Expands the definition of renewable energy to include landfill gas.” HB232 also states that the RPS Goals under the renewable energy portfolio standard program can be made up of “renewable thermal energy equivalents.”

    While I can’t pretend to fully understand what this last part means, I suspect that this provision allows energy sources such as landfill gas, among other questionable “renewable” sources of energy, to be counted under Virginia’s RPS Goals. Clearly, this violates the spirit of the RPS goals insofar as the only actual forms of renewable energy are wind and solar energy.

    Just as Columbus thought he had discovered India when he landed in the West Indies, representatives in Virginia’s General Assembly keep mistaking one renewable form of energy after another for the real thing. Unfortunately, time is running out on this voyage of ours to promote real renewable forms of energy in Virginia before the consequences of fossil fuel use become “runaway” with respect to climate change. Their maps obviously need to be redrawn!