by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
The news from our neighbor to the north is … not good. Utility Dive reports:
The Virginia Clean Economy Act, which enjoyed wide support from environmental and clean energy groups, cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor’s desk on Friday.
The package presents a Democratic-led path to ambitious climate goals, and many clean energy advocates are lauding the effort as an example for other states. …
The bill’s final version replaces the state’s voluntary renewable portfolio standards with mandatory utility ownership for solar and and wind generation. Most notably, utilities must own or operate up to 5 GW of offshore wind generation. Dominion would also have to deploy 2.7 GW of energy storage by 2035.
There are significant costs to doing this, especially if you’re a poor ratepayer. Analysis by the state utilities regulator, the Virginia State Corporation Commission, estimates that the bill would result in Dominion Energy customers paying $50.8 billion more for electricity.
Over $50 billion more for a basic human need. That’s grotesque.
This is no small matter. Higher electricity prices not only impact wallets, they impact lives:
Research shows this to be a stark choice: higher energy prices costs lives, and lower energy prices saves lives. Playing politics with energy prices plays with people’s lives.
Calling this thing is “an example for other states” is like calling Wile E. Coyote an example for other bird watchers and rock climbers. It’s an example of what not to do to your people.
North Carolinians need their legislators to avoid Virginia’s folly. Remember, the price of electricity affects just about everybody and everything. But it impacts the poor much more than anyone else. That’s why the state’s legal standard for electric utilities is least-cost, reliable electricity at the flip of the switch.
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