Going Green in Virginia
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and his cabinet members took a whirl-wind trip through Northern Virginia today, and made a quick stop at the Arlington headquarters of the Consumer Electronics Association. Eco-friendly business was on his mind.
When he took office in 2006, energy issues weren't on the agenda. Now, they're a priority, he said.
"We all wonder what we can do about the international banking system and economy," Kaine said. "But we can do something about energy and the environment."
He's backing a number of bills in the upcoming legislative session that will promote cleaner fuel production, more use of electric power and smart-growth principles in land development.
He's encouraging businesses to adopt greener policies, like letting employees telecommute and providing subsidies to promote public transportation use. He wants to make Northern Virginia an appealing location for companies trying to go green, or for green companies looking for a green place to relocate.
The Consumer Electronics Association has implemented several policies to become more eco-friendly:
--Giving a $25,000 forgivable three-year loan to any employee who reduces a commute by purchasing a home closer to CEA's Arlington headquarters.
--Providing employees a monthly subsidy of up to $115 a month in Metro fare.
--Providing each employee up to $500 a year to help pay for broadband at home to promote telecommuting
--Allowing all employees to work from home one day a week.
On another note, Kaine's technology secretary Aneesh Chopra pointed out some encouraging statistics about the region's economic health.
In the quarter ending in March, Virginia's technology economy grew 2.75 percent over the same period last year, accounting for 67 percent of all new net jobs in the state.
He said he's confident the local tech industry will stay strong, despite economic woes.
October 14, 2008; 3:23 PM ET
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