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McAuliffe Unveils Energy Plan

Tim Craig

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unveiled his detailed energy proposal today, the first section of what he is calling his "business plan for Virginia."

At an event in Richmond, McAuliffe said he's got "big ideas" to make Virginia energy efficient and to grow the state's economy through the creation of green jobs.

"The is the most aggressive plan that has been put out in Virginia and one of the most aggressive plans in the country," McAuliffe said. He later added, "I don't want to follow other states, I want to lead other states. It's time for Virginia to be the number one renewable energy state in the country."

McAuliffe wants to require that 25 percent of the state's energy needs come from renewable energy by 2025. He also wants to offer new incentives to businesses that purchase renewable energy equipment such as solar panels. McAuliffe would put a heavy emphasis on biofuels, including trying to require that non-food biofuels be blended in all gasoline products.

McAuliffe also pledged to work to assure that 20 percent of the state's energy needs are met by establishing windmills off Virginia's coast. To make homes more energy efficient, McAuliffe is proposing the creation of a $100 million fund to retrofit homes. State office buildings, McAuliffe said, would also become industry leaders in conserving more energy.

McAuliffe's policy rollout comes as the issue of energy is shaping up to be a major theme of the Democratic primary. Last month, Democratic candidate Brian Moran unveiled his energy plan, which also included a call that 25 percent of the state's energy needs come from renewable sources by 2025. And State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), also a candidate for the nomination, has a lengthy track record of being involved in energy issues, including taking the lead in promoting Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) agenda this year.

But differences are starting to emerge. Moran, for example, has come out against a new coal fired power plan in Surry County. McAuliffe is refusing to take a similar pledge, and suggested that Moran is pandering on the issue.

"This is not up to the governor," McAuliffe said, noting independent regulatory agencies will decide whether the plan can go forward.

By Tim Craig  |  March 11, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig  
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This is the most sophisticated and comprehensive plan and hits the nail on the head, leaving little doubt that McAuliffe knows how to bring jobs of the right variety to Virginia. This is only the first chapter of his policy plans. I can't wait to hear more.

Posted by: robsmithiii | March 11, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree! It is wonderful McAuliffe is taking the lead on this and will continue to show how we can move forward in various areas of policy!

Posted by: UVANick | March 11, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow...this is 30 pages of in-depth policy, and it's just the first of many chapters in his plan. THIS is the kind of research, planning, and presentation we should be demanding from candidates and government officials at all times. Nice job, Terry!

Posted by: dcgal4 | March 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey McAuliffe...just a heads up: everything you suggest in your plan will already be in place five years earlier under the Federal rules recently passed by the Obama Administration. Way to go...campaigning to keep Virginia at least 5 years behind the curve!

Posted by: VaCommonSenseConservative | March 11, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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