It didn’t make many headlines, but a remarkable thing happened in Virginia politics last weekend.
The Democrat Party of Virginia voted unanimously to endorse the Virginia Green New Deal — a state-level version of the national Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Unlike it’s national counterpart, the Virginia Green New Deal has nothing to say about cow farts. But it has a great deal to say about how Virginia’s economy would develop over the next decade.
Specifically, the Virginia Green New Deal would move Virginia to a 100 percent renewable energy plan.
Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, a primary mover behind the project, introduced a bill during the 2019 General Assembly session that would have taken the first step to putting Virginia on the Green New Deal path.
Rasoul’s HB 1635 would require 80 percent of all power sold in Virginia to be from “clean” sources in just 8 years, with the remaining 20 percent to be phased out in another 8 years.
Virginia gets most of its power from natural gas fired and nuclear power plants as of 2019.Those plants would all be taken off line and replaced with something else — or power would have to be purchased from out of state.
Virginia’s two nuclear plants — Lake Anna and Surry — would also be on the chopping block, taking gigawatts of power off the grid, even though they don’t emit carbon.
Customers would still be on the hook for the costs of those plants, whether they were generating power that can be sold or not. That’s a massive expense.
An economic analysis done for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce found that the Rasoul bill would be a disaster for Virginia.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Virginia spends about $10.5 billion on electricity each year.
Implementing the Rasoul bill would drive up prices by an additional $9 billion per year. That’s nearly double what the Commonwealth already pays.
That doesn’t take into account the total moratorium on fossil fuel exploration, infrastructure expansion, and other prohibitions in the bill.
The Democrat Party of Virginia has endorsed this approach unanimously. Hold on to your wallet.