Breaking: Virginia Clean Economy Act Passes House of Delegates’ Final Vote

Statement: “Virginia is one step closer to leaping from the back of the pack to being a leading state on clean energy”

Richmond, VA – Today, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 51-45 to pass the Virginia Clean Economy Act (SB 851, HB 1526). 

Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director of CCAN Action Fund, stated: 

“With today’s vote, Virginia is one step closer to leaping from the back of the pack to being a leading state on clean energy and carbon reduction. We are proud that this bill has gotten even stronger since being passed by the House and Senate chambers before crossover. 

“Today, the House voted to unleash distributed solar into the Commonwealth and put an expiration date on dirty fossil fuels in our power grid. And now, for the first time ever, Dominion is mandated to save ratepayers money through energy efficiency.

“This bill puts polluters in Virginia on notice: it’s time to stop investing in the fossil fuels that will soon become stranded assets, and start investing in a new renewable economy.

“We now look forward to the Virginia Senate passing this bill later tonight.”

Introduced in December by Senator Jennifer McClellan, Del. Rip Sullivan, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Del. Alfonso Lopez, the VCEA takes four actions to decarbonizing the electricity sector: creates Virginia’s mandatory efficiency standard of 5% over a 2019 baseline by 2025 for Dominion Energy and 2% for ApCo; enacts a Renewable Portfolio Standard of 45% renewable energy of the non-nuclear load by 2030 and 100% clean electricity by 2045 for Dominion Energy and 2050 for Appalachian Power Company; extends participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to 2045 and eliminates all fossil fuel utility pollution by that date; unleashes clean energy by placing new goals on rooftop solar, offshore wind, and energy storage.

This bill passed both chambers on February 6, and has since been strengthened by the legislators backing the bill. The version that passed today includes provisions for stronger oversight of the State Corporation Commission and improved ratepayer protections for the offshore wind requirement.   

CONTACT:
Denise Robbins, Communications Director, denise@chesapeakeclimate.org, 240-630-1889
Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director, harrison@chesapeakeclimate.org, 804-305-1472