Statement: Virginia General Assembly Passes Historic Climate Legislation 

Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) Expected to Pass State Senate 

Richmond, VA – Today, in a major leap forward for climate leadership in Virginia, the chambers of the Virginia General Assembly voted to pass the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The House of Delegates voted 52-47 (HB 1526) and the State Senate voted 21-19 to pass it (SB 851). 

Introduced in December by Senator Jennifer McClellan, Del. Rip Sullivan, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Del. Alfonso Lopez, the VCEA would shut down virtually all of Dominion’s coal-fired power plants by 2030. It also would launch the largest offshore wind farms in America while turbo-charging the state’s solar industry. And it would provide half a billion dollars in home weatherization funds for low-income households, among other clean energy and justice advances.

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

“Today, the members of the Virginia General Assembly did not just cast votes. They placed Virginia on the right side of history on the climate crisis.

“The Virginia Clean Economy Act is historic. It will have a transformational effect on Virginia’s energy economy and the larger national climate movement. The bill codifies a roadmap to a 100% carbon-free electricity grid that also ends in-state fossil fuel generation in Virginia. 

“It would catapult Virginia into a top-tier state on climate and renewable electricity, opening up our solar market to a booming distributed energy economy, boosting offshore wind, and setting Virginia’s first mandatory energy efficiency savings targets for our utilities. 

“We look forward to its expected passage in the Senate and working with our leaders in the General Assembly conform the two versions of the bill and bring it to Governor Northam’s desk as quickly as possible.

“We will fight to get this bill over the finish line, but this is not the end — it is the beginning of historic climate action in the Commonwealth. After this bill passes we will need to address transportation, agriculture, and more, until every sector of our economy is in line with the climate science.” 

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The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 17 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.