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Video: Tim Kaine Argues for Move from Dirtier to Cleaner Energy...

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Check out the video, below, of Tim Kaine speaking in 2012 at a clean economy roundtable held at cleantech strategic marketing firm Tigercomm (based...

There Is No “War on Coal,” Just Progress Towards 21st-Century Technology

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The phrase “war on coal” is frequently brought up in political speeches. In particular, Republicans  - ignoring or even denying climate change - like to...

NRDC Utterly Demolishes Dominion’s Error-Ridden, Flawed, “Gold-plated Electricity Boondoggle”

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How horrible is state-coddled monopoly Dominion "Global Warming Starts Here" Power? In addition to destroying Virginia's environment, buying up/corrupting our government and doing everything...

Great Work by DivestUMW; Now Time for the Rest of Virginia’s...

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I'd note that ditching fossil fuel investments is the right thing to do on several levels: economically (these industries are dying or inevitably going...

Is There Any Reason Why AG Herring Shouldn’t Prosecute These @$#@!$s?

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Over at the Huffington Post, Elliott Negin (Senior Writer, Union of Concerned Scientists) writes about "Coal Companies’ Secret Funding of Climate Science Denial Exposed."...

Sorry, Dominion Power (and Gov. McAuliffe), New Study Finds No New...

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Sorry, Dominion Power (and the company's BFF, Gov. Terry McAuliffe), the fossil-fuel jig is up. Or at least, it needs to be by the end...

BREAKING: Thirty Five Students Refuse to Leave DEQ HQ Without Answers...

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From the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC): Students demand answers from David Paylor on illegal dumping of coal ash wastewater before further dumping is allowed in...

As Planet Burns, Virginia Republicans Fight Against Clean Energy and for…Yes,...

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This General Assembly session is shaping up to be one of the worst in Virginia history, on a wide variety of issues. That includes...

Coal-Fired Generation Declines 14.3% in 2015, Wind and Solar Power Booms....

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by Dan from Nevada When the Supreme Court issued a stay on Obama’s Clean Power Plan on February 9, 2016 it sent a signal to...

McAuliffe vetoes coal subsidy bills, but Republicans vow to keep the...

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Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed the two bills that would have extended Virginia's coal subsidies through 2019. It's a laudable act of fiscal responsibility, and surely no more than Virginia taxpayers had a right to expect in a time of tight state budgets. And yet it was also an act of courage in a coal state where mining companies have had far too much political power for far too long.

We would hope legislators would now focus on working with the Administration to help southwest Virginia communities shift away from their unhealthy dependence on coal mining and instead develop new, cleaner industries. The tens of millions of dollars that have been spent annually on coal subsidies could be much better directed to job diversification efforts. Unfortunately, legislators representing coal companies-that is to say, coal counties-have already vowed to reintroduce bills next year to keep the taxpayer largesse flowing. They have time; the subsidies won't actually expire until January 1, 2017.

It's been 20 years since Virginia began subsidizing coal mining via these two tax credits, bleeding the state treasury of more than $500 million in all. And it's been three years since the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) issued a critique of the various Virginia tax credits that included an especially harsh assessment of the handouts to coal companies. Yet instead of canceling the credits in light of the report, the General Assembly promptly extended them. Even Governor McAuliffe didn't actually try to end them completely this year. Legislators rejected his efforts simply to scale them back, leading to this veto.

So if we didn't get jobs for our $500 million, what did we gat? Most of the money has gone to enrich coal companies, but a portion went to fund the Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority (VACEDA). VACEDA's board includes coal executives, a fact which has served to intensify rather than lessen coal's hold on the area.