SUVGOP is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and advocate for Republican Party candidates and office holders.
For the last two years, SUVGOP has been a leader in the fight for the return of a rational energy policy in the Commonwealth. We have created a website repealvcea.com which contains a wealth of articles, research, studies, and other information supporting the repeal of the mis-named Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).
We created two videos - "Repeal the VCEA" and "Things We Didn't Know - which were viewed by over 200,000 Virginia voters. We retained experts at the Committee of the American Experiment to conduct an extensive analysis - "The High Cost of the Virginia Clean Economy Act" - which demonstrated that implementation of the VCEA would result in massive, risky, and costly overbuilding of the Virginia electricity grid and would increase the annual electricity bill for the average Virginia family by over $2,000. We testified before the Virginia Legislature in favor of HB 165 ( Freitas, R. Culpeper), a bill which would repeal the VCEA.
In 2020, a Democratic controlled House of Delegates and a Democratic controlled Senate combined with a Democratic Governor, over near unanimous Republican opposition, enacted the VCEA, the most radical transformation of electrical generation policy in the history of Virginia. The VCEA mandated that 100% of Virginia's electricity be generated from "renewables" - defined as solar and wind - by the year 2045, under a strict timetable backed by fines.
In the 2022 Legislative session, all 52 Republicans in the House of Delegates voted to repeal the VCEA. Because Democrats hold a one vote majority in the Virginia Senate, the repeal legislation was killed in Committee by Democrats. Thus, the most radical, risky, and revolutionary policy in the history of Virginia is based on one vote of a single Democratic Senator in the Virginia Senate.
In other words, current Virginia energy policy is based on a partisan exercise of political power, not on a sober examination of the best combination the various modes of electrical generation for the welfare of the Commonwealth and its citizens.
In 2021, there were four elections held in Virginia: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and the House of Delegates. Republicans won all four. Virginians voted for change, and Gov. Youngkin promised to deliver that change by declaring, "We need an electricity grid which is stable, and we absolutely need to change direction ....... the VCEA is not doable, affordable, or good for Virginia".
Now it is time for Gov. Youngkin to fulfill his promise and to begin restoring sanity to VA energy policy by laying the groundwork for the repeal of the VCEA, and affirming the Republican philosophy of energy generation which is based on two fundamental principles: affordability and reliability.
In short, it is time to end a Virginia energy policy based on woke climate alarmism - a faddish, virtue signaling, nonsensical ideology whose arrogance will harm those Virginians most at risk from spiraling electricity rates - poor and disadvantaged communities, seniors living on a fixed income, and many other Virginians - over 100,000 at last count - who are unable to pay their electricity bills, living paycheck to paycheck, and struggling to make ends meet.
"All of the Above" Energy
The Next Virginia Energy Plan states that it is in favor of an "all of the above" energy policy. That policy only makes sense if it is followed by the caveat "that is affordable and reliable". None of the modes of electrical generation - coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, thermal, hydro, bio fuel, etc. - none of them are worthy of support unless each of them is both affordable and reliable. If they are expensive, or unreliable, or both, they have no place in a rational energy policy.
According to the Energy Information Agency, solar is by far the most unreliable form of generation, effectively producing energy only 20% of the time. The EIA has also found offshore wind to be the most expensive, costing three times more than combined cycle gas. These facts are confirmed by many other sources and are not debatable. (Massive, temporary tax credit subsidies for solar and wind - simply a Democratic giveaway for the wealthy - should be disregarded by Republican policy makers.) An energy policy which is based on the most unreliable, land-intensive form of generation - solar - coupled with the most expensive and risky - offshore wind - is therefore foolish and incomprehensible.
"Climate Change Alarmism"
The Legislative record compiled during the debate on HB 165 made clear that the implementation of the VCEA would have zero impact on world climate. The whole rationale of the VCEA - the very same rationale behind forcing Virginians to buy California-mandated cars and to pay RGGI-required taxes - is the highly questionable, voguish, arrogant theory espoused by elitists that minuscule reductions in atmospheric CO2 will somehow improve the weather. A theory which needlessly raises the cost of living for Virginians is exactly the kind of theory which Republicans promised to oppose and reject.
"Broken Windows Job Creation"
Democrats who maintain the VCEA will create jobs are the proponents of the "broken windows" theory of job creation. Do you want to create jobs repairing windows.? That's easy. Just break a window".
But why break windows in the first place? And who is going to pay for their repair?
The VCEA will result in lots of broken windows - perfectly good natural gas plants mothballed by legislative fiat. Electricity consumers will have to pay for them in the form of spiraling electricity rates. And taxpayers will pay for them in the form of massive subsidies. Truly lasting and sustainable jobs are created by policies which create a living environment of low taxes, reasonable regulation, good schools, and affordable/reliable energy - not by one-time tax credit subsidy gimmicks.
For example, the myth of job creation in the solar industry has been tried once before. It resulted in billions of dollars of taxpayer funds wasted on dozens of start-up solar panel companies whose only reason for existence was subsidies and government guaranteed "loans", which inevitably resulted in bankruptcy and scandal when economic reality set in. Does the name "Solyndra" ring a bell? Such will also be the obvious fate for wind turbine blade manufacturers.
Affordable and reliable electricity is an essential element of modern society. The provision of affordable and reliable electricity is a fundamental responsibility of political leaders. There is no excuse for not doing so.
Woke climate alarmism - a fading ideology fueled by fear, superstition, and the political power of the climate industry - cannot be allowed to deprive citizens of this right. One only has to look at the experience of Europe, England, Australia, California, and Texas to understand that an energy policy built on intermittent, unreliable, weather-dependent, and expensive solar and wind is destined to fail.
It is up to Governor Youngkin and his leadership team to take the first steps toward rectifying current Virginia energy policy by articulating in the Next Virginia Energy Plan a sound approach based on dispatchable, reliable, and affordable energy sources, and following it with support for the essential, necessary statutory change in the coming Legislative session - the repeal of the VCEA.