Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a new, comprehensive state energy plan. The reaction it received has been, well, not exactly one of universal enthusiasm, but not of widespread rejection either.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reacted this way in an editorial:
On one level, it’s ridiculous for the commonwealth to have a comprehensive energy plan in the first place. It doesn’t have a comprehensive food plan, or a clothing plan, or a telecommunications plan — nor does it need one. And since the state is not involved in producing energy the way it produces schools and roads, the state’s strategic posture on energy ought to be of marginal relevance. Yet given the high degree of regulation to which energy is already subjected at both the federal and state level, a state energy plan might be unavoidable.
The McAuliffe plan focuses on two major goals: increasing energy efficiency to reduce emissions and consumption, and increasing renewable generation, with a particular focus on developing offshore wind power
The plan notes that 38 percent of electricity is generated by two nuclear plants in the central part of the state, and that both have been operating for more than 40 years. It endorses building a new, third plan at the same station, a process that is winding through the permit and approval process.
Virginians’ energy use patterns are fairly representative of their Mid-Atlantic region. They remain right near the average in per-person energy use, and their consumption has generally declined. Virginia has consumed steadily less coal, and more natural gas, over the past decade. Energy generated from renewable sources remains a small blip that barely registers nationally, although 3.6 percent of the state’s power comes from hydroelectric generation.
What do you think? Not enough change, too much, or just about right?