McAuliffe unveils business plan in Richmond
Democratic candidate for Governor Terry McAuliffe was in Richmond this morning. He announced his plan to help create and invest in business in the Commonwealth. The backbone of his plan is a comprehensive investment in energy, with a goal of reducing the need for foreign sources of power and reducing its impact on the environment.
McAuliffe, who regularly points to his business background on the campaign trail, believes that a green energy plan will lead to new cutting edge jobs, while at the same time make Virginia attractive to companies who will won’t to move their business here. As Governor, McAuliffe plans to create a mandatory renewable portfolio standard, use animal waste to create energy (he often talks about the “joys” chicken waste) and harness the wind along coast to generate 20% of the Commonwealth’s electricity.
It is an ambitious plan, as campaign pledges ought to be, but it is also shrewdly designed to dip into a territory that Brian Moran has worked hard to garner support in: The environmental community. McAuliffe has worked very hard to portray himself as the candidate best suited to manage a turnaround to the economy. It is probably the smart road to go down during the general election, but it can’t be at the cost of the primary campaign. With this proposal, McAuliffe is attempting to marry his strength on the economy with a pet issue of many democrats.
To see his entire plan click here..
McAuliffe Unveils Business Plan for Virginia, Highlights Need for Comprehensive Energy Plan to Turn Economy Around
After holding eight economic roundtables with business and community leaders across Virginia, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe today unveiled the first portion of his “Business Plan for Virginia”, which outlines his comprehensive and long-term plan for Virginia’s energy future. The plan includes ideas gathered from people around the Commonwealth, which McAuliffe heard during the roundtables and from people writing in to his website. McAuliffe’s plan will build a green economy in Virginia by making the commonwealth a destination for clean energy businesses and researchers, investing in efficiency and in clean, renewable sources of energy, and committing resources to training Virginia’s workforce for the clean tech economy.
“My plan will make Virginia a national leader in renewable energy and create thousands of green jobs,” McAuliffe said. “I’m taking the same approach to figuring out how to get our economy going again that I’ve taken with businesses I’ve started or turned around – I’m starting with a business plan for Virginia. Today, I’m unveiling the first chapter of my plan, which focuses on thinking differently about energy because one of the biggest challenges we face is how to meet a growing demand for energy in a way that is sustainable and environmentally responsible. And that means that some of the most promising areas for growing our economy are in the renewable energy field.”
McAuliffe’s plan will create a better market for renewable energy and prove to companies that Virginia is serious about this industry, by setting a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard of 25% by 2025. He also pledged to create incentives for collective sustainable development improvement in communities and improved energy related tax credits to encourage businesses to purchase renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels.
The plan also establishes a Digestor Gas-to-Electricity Rebate, offering a $500/kW capacity incentive for new digestor gas systems that produce energy that will be used on-site. These systems can be used to convert animal waste into energy. McAuliffe pledged to work with Virginia farmers, leading renewable energy companies, and other interested energy, environmental, and agricultural stakeholders to explore ways to develop waste-to-energy projects throughout the Commonwealth, consistent with the highest environmental standards.
McAuliffe also pledged to site, develop, and build at least one large wind project offshore. At least 20% of the Commonwealth’s energy needs could be met by harboring winds along Virginia’s coastal areas, which are ideal for wind development because of their long-sustained winds, relatively shallow waters, and low probability of hurricanes. In addition, McAuliffe plans to use VIrginia’s existing manufacturing capability to build wind turbine components and take advantage of our port to transport components up and down the East Coast.
“Here in Virginia we already have the resources to develop a thriving renewable energy sector, whether it’s the wind of our coast or the hundreds of thousands of tons of agricultural waste we produce every year,” McAuliffe said. “Virginia’s next governor must look to creative solutions to increase our renewable energy production, provide incentives to develop new technologies, and encourage businesses and families to adopt clean and efficient energy sources.”
In addition to developing these new energy sources, McAuliffe emphasized that the most cost-efficient method to increase energy independence would be improving Virginia’s energy efficiency. By requiring utilities to invest in cost-effective energy efficiency first before pursuing new energy generation, establishing a $100 mllion Energy Independence Revolving Loan Fund to retrofit homes with more energy efficient equipment, and taking steps to reduce state government’s carbon footprint, McAuliffe said that we could begin to reduce the amount of energy used in our homes and buildings and lower energy costs for Virginia families.
“One of the most overlooked ways to address the increasing demand for energy while also creating good jobs is to pursue efficiency measures,” McAuliffe said. “By cutting the growth in energy consumption, utilities will not have to invest millions of dollars in new power plants and transmission lines – costs that ultimately are passed on to consumers for decades.”
McAuliffe also discussed the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce that would be ready to work in the new, clean energy industries.
“Making sure our workers are trained for jobs in alternative and renewable energy jobs is key to our ability to transform our energy consumption and improve our economic outlook,” McAuliffe said. “To make Virginia the center of these future growth industries, we must ensure that Virginia has the best-trained workforce in the country for these industries and the skills they demand.”
To read the plan, click here.