McAuliffe Unveils Energy Plan
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.
March 11, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig
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