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Video: Mixed Results from the First Meeting of the Senate Commerce & Labor’s Energy Subcommittee


As I wrote on Saturday, a meeting this afternoon of the new Senate Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Energy would start to give us an idea as to where the State Senate, now under narrow (21-19) Democratic control, might be headed with regard to Virginia’s energy policy. As you can see from the following video, the results were…mixed.

The bills under consideration this afternoon, and the results, were as follows:

So overall, kind of mixed results. Sen. Favola’s bill, which passed, appears to be greatly improved from where it started out, but in the end, it’s not particularly strong or binding – more advisory in nature. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but the fact is what we need right now regarding the climate crisis is strong, urgent action, not advisories. As for SB828, the inclusion of biomass in there really hurts that bill, given that for the most part, traditional biomass (e.g,. cutting down trees to make wood pellets that can be burned to produce power) – as opposed to advanced biomass (e.g., algae, perhaps switchgrass) – is bad from a climate/environmental perspective. Finally, Sen. Saslaw’s bills on “undergrounding,” plus Sen. Petersen’s bill on covenants regarding solar power, which is an excellent bill, weren’t considered, making it hard to get a full read on this subcommittee. But so far, not terrible…and maybe not great, either. Stay tuned.

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