Beth Kemler, Virginia State Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement in response:
"Today the General Assembly followed Attorney General Cuccinelli's lead and turned its back on clean energy in Virginia. Attorney General Cuccinelli, a friend of fossil fuel corporations and a global warming denier, made a sneak attack. He snuck a de facto repeal of our clean electricity standard into one big package of regulatory changes and, unfortunately, lawmakers went along with it.
"But the fight is far from over. The real solution all along was to fix the law, not nix it. With the voluntary system effectively axed, it's imperative that lawmakers get to work on a strong, mandatory system that requires utilities to invest in the cleanest, most modern sources of energy—wind and solar power.
"Not only would these sources lower our contribution to the carbon overload that causes climate change—they would create new jobs, unlike the decades-old hydropower dams that utilities could still use to fulfill the voluntary clean energy goals, should they choose to do so without a financial incentive. Twenty-nine other states, including neighboring Maryland and North Carolina, already require utilities to meet clean energy goals or face penalties, and this is the solution to move Virginia forward.
"The bottom line is that Virginians can't afford to cede our future to big, wealthy polluters like Dominion. We urgently need the intended benefits of a strong clean electricity standard—cleaner air, a safer climate and new jobs. One need look no further than Dominion's minuscule level of clean energy investment and big plans to burn more dirty fossil fuels to know that we can't trust them to do the right thing. It's time for lawmakers to require it.
"The thousands of Virginians who have called for more clean energy in the commonwealth are more fired up than ever. As we see rising seas flooding living rooms, children suffering more asthma attacks, and extreme storms wrecking homes across Virginia, we'll fight to win a strong, mandatory clean energy standard, one that serves the public, not polluters."