In a last-ditch effort to stop climate regulations, Virginia Republicans try legislating by budget amendment
The Northam Administration has created a plan that intends to decrease carbon emissions from Virginia power plants by 30% over the next decade. As a way to combat this effort, some Virginia lawmakers are attempting to halt these regulations in a number of ways. One of the most notable is a budget amendment that would prevent Virginia from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a cooperative of states that have an agreed-upon cap on carbon emissions. This initiative currently includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Republicans in the General Assembly unanimously approved a bill that would have the same effect, but it was vetoed by the Governor. It is imperative that we encourage Governor Northam to reject this budget amendment! He has until May 3, 2019, to do so. Read the story here.
State air board recommends joining regional carbon reduction group; new members appointed by Northam take seats
The State Air Pollution Control Board is a citizen group in charge of regulating air pollution in Virginia. Last week, the group voted to approve the regulations that would allow Virginia to join RGGI, mentioned above. The approval came in a resounding 5-2 vote. Opponents suggest that joining the cap-and-trade system will only hurt Virginia’s ability to attract businesses. Representatives from Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality have countered that there is no evidence to suggest electricity rates would increase as a result of this change, and instead there would be health benefits in the state valuing between $6 million and $13.5 million. Read the full story here.
House Introduces Energy Storage Tax Credit Bill
Last week, some Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives reintroduced legislation for a tax credit on energy storage. Federal investment tax credits (ITC) currently extend to a list of technologies, including solar PV systems. Introduced by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act would extend the ITC to standalone energy storage systems. This is an important step in investing in and developing storage technologies. These technologies, paired with renewable energy systems, can have a tremendous impact on our energy usage. Call your federal legislators to support this bill! Read the story here.