Recent News

Virginia Mercury: At Senate Panel, a Clash Over the Costs of Shifting Away from Carbon

Posted by Sarah Vogelsong on Feb 9, 2020

Virginia Mercury covered challenges faced by the Virginia Clean Economy Act quoting Virginia AEE's Harry Godfrey who refutes incomplete (and inaccurate) cost analysis by the SCC. Read excerpts below and the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

The Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Democrats’ energy omnibus bill designed to achieve Gov. Ralph Northam’s goals of reducing Virginia’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050, sparked sharp questions from senators Sunday over how the costs of shifting away from carbon should be calculated...

The SCC estimates that the Clean Economy Act, which is being backed by a coalition that includes the renewable energy industry, environmental groups and Virginia’s two electric monopolies, will cause the average electric ratepayer’s bill to increase by at least $23.30 per month by 2027-2030. Annually, customers would see a roughly $280 jump in their bills. According to the SCC, the majority of that increase will come from the buildout of 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind and 16,100 megawatts of solar, both of which the legislation would declare to be in the public interest...

Fuel savings aren’t the only variable that Clean Economy Act backers claim were incorrectly omitted from the cost analysis. Virginia Advanced Energy Economy Executive Director Harry Godfrey, one of the key players involved in drafting the legislation, told the Mercury the commission had also failed to take into account ratepayer savings from such provisions as binding energy efficiency targets and investments, cost caps and a rate relief program for low-income customers.  “I don’t know that they have considered any of this,” he said...

If the Clean Economy Act is passed, that may change: among the many provisions of the 75-page bill is one that would require the SCC to consider the “social cost” of carbon in evaluating new generation facilities. That, said Godfrey, could begin “to rebalance the equation and analysis” of what energy proposals cost. The Clean Economy Act passed Senate Commerce and Labor on a 12-3 party-line vote. A House version of the legislation advanced to the floor last week...

Read the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News