Pass Climate Action in the 2024 Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia 2024 General Assembly Session is underway, and CCAN Action Fund is working to pass several policies for clean energy and climate justice. 

Read on to learn what we’re fighting for and how you can take action. 

Protect our Climate Progress

The General Assembly has made Virginia a climate leader by passing the Virginia Clean Economy Act, enjoining us to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and adopting Clean Car Standards. All three are critical to put us on a path to climate stability. We adamantly oppose any efforts to repeal or weaken these laws. 

This includes ensuring only truly clean and market-ready technologies may benefit from Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and maintaining the fossil fuel generator retirement schedule.

CCAN Action Fund OPPOSES HB 397 (anti-RGGI and VCEA), HB1074 (anti-VCEA), HB3, HB7, HB693, SB3, SB53, SB160 (Clean Cars repeal)

Expand Clean Transportation While federal funding and the private market will create electric vehicle charging infrastructure along major highway corridors, the state must invest in charging infrastructure in rural and low-income areas to ensure local residents can benefit from EVs and these areas remain accessible to visitors, supporting the vital tourism industry in many of our scenic and rural localities.  While supporting the EV transition is essential, it must go hand-in-hand with greater investments in transit to ensure mobility for all Virginians and reap the immediate benefits for clean air and public health of reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT). CCAN Action Fund SUPPORTS HB107/SB457 (rural charging) and OPPOSES HB1281 (anti-transit)

Reform and Expand Shared Solar

Dominion was required to create a shared solar program, which allows people who cannot obtain rooftop solar the ability to choose clean energy and access its financial benefits. The SCC imposed a $55 minimum monthly bill (not including an expected $10 – $20 administrative fee), rendering the program inaccessible to most Virginians. We support setting reasonable minimum savings for the shared solar program, as well as expanding the program to ApCo territory.

CCAN Action Fund SUPPORTS HB106/SB253 (Dominion) and HB108/SB255 (ApCo)

Reform Solar Siting

Utility scale solar is by far the cheapest source of electricity overall – it can cost as low as $16 per unit of electricity, called a Megawatt-hour, compared to around $62 for existing gas facilities – or over $100 for new gas facilities. The math is simple: we must invest heavily in utility scale solar to enact a just transition to a climate-stable, clean energy future.

Unfortunately, many localities have been plagued by misinformation about solar and passed local solar bans.

To do our part to get off fossil fuels, Virginia’s localities need to leave the option for solar open. That means projects should be reviewed by localities on their merits, on a case-by-case basis. That’s what SB697 does – ensure that every solar project gets a fair review from local government.

We need clean energy, and we need it now. So let’s make sure clean energy projects get the chance for a fair review.

CCAN Action Fund SUPPORTS SB 697.

Require Data Centers to Meet Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Standards

Big tech companies are requesting large amounts of electricity in Virginia to operate data centers clustered in Northern Virginia. While many of these data centers are supporting necessary technology, this has perpetuated a false narrative that new fossil fuel facilities are necessary to meet this demand. 

It’s simple: massive companies, which are currently eligible for large tax breaks from the state, should be required to meet their electricity demands efficiently and with clean energy in order to qualify for those benefits. Some of these companies have informal green energy pledges – but the state should ensure that all facilities meet these same standards.

CCAN Action Fund SUPPORTS SB192/HB116

Want to get more involved? Email Zander@chesapeakeclimate.org