Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/6/22  7:43 pm
Commenter: Chris Wiegard, Citizens Climate Lobby

Inform energy policy by the existential nature of the climate threat

My eye was drawn to this part of your prompt-

  • "An “All-of-the-Above” Approach to Energy Policy

The “all-of-the-above” approach will be informed by energy affordability, reliability, capacity, competition, environmental stewardship, choice and innovation."

I don't think that this phrasing adequately describes the environmental issues relating to Virginia energy policy. In the age of climate change, it is not just a matter of exercising stewardship over Virginia's environment. It is rather a matter of self-protection for the humans who inhabit Virginia in the face of self inflicted survival threats. I suggest that it would be okay to use the phrase "climate change"- since it is an actual and well documented chemical and physical process. I suggest that sea level rise is now an existential threat to some of the communities in Hampton Roads, and that extreme rain events in the mountain and valley region, driven by the higher moisture burdens in the warming atmosphere, are an existential threat there. As proof, look at Eastern Kentucky right now. 

I consider this a nonpartisan topic, and I deplore the fact that many cannot see it through that lens. I respect the word "affordability" in the Energy policy prompt- it is an important consideration, but I note that renewable energy is less volatile than fossil fuel in terms of pricing, that it cannot be used by Vladimir Putin for global blackmail schemes, that it does not drive asthma deaths in Virginia, and that renewable energy does not contribute to the sea level rise and extreme flooding events that also threaten lives in Virginia. "All of the above" is problematic as an energy policy descriptor in Virginia or anywhere else if it does not adequately consider the survival threat posed by fossil fuels due to climate change, a threat that is open-ended and cumulative and must not be kicked down the road to grandchildren. 

CommentID: 128520