Virginia adopts bold clean energy law

Virginia's General Assembly in Richmond. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act Saturday, enacting bold legislation that will require zero-carbon generation of all energy in the state by 2050.

This landmark legislation, which SELC worked hard to develop, will speed retirement of the state’s coal-fired power plants, helping dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution.

“This is undoubtedly the boldest climate action legislation ever to come out of the South,” said SELC Senior Attorney Will Cleveland. “SELC is proud to have worked with the administration, dedicated legislators and many climate champions to see this and complementary legislation through.”

Under the new law, nearly all of Virginia’s coal-fired power plants will be shut down by the end of 2024. It also establishes a statewide energy efficiency standard, speeds installation of rooftop solar for homeowners, and expands larger-scale solar and offshore wind projects.

“The Clean Economy Act charts the course toward a zero-carbon electricity grid, but the many pressing challenges of climate change cannot be tackled in a single legislative session,” Cleveland said. “SELC will work in future sessions to clean up remaining outdated energy policies and further address climate change and promote cleaner energy, while making sure that this transformation of our energy landscape benefits all Virginians equally.”

In addition to savings on electric bills, the act will result in cleaner air and help ensure that Virginia is doing its part to drastically reduce its contributions to climate change.

“These new clean energy laws propel Virginia to leadership among the states in fighting climate change,” said Northam. “They advance environmental justice and help create clean energy jobs. In Virginia, we are proving that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand.”

More News

Hydrogeologic report warns of pipeline threats to Memphis drinking water source

A hydrogeologic report presented to Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) warns that the Byhalia crude oil pipeline proposed by Valero Energy Corp....

Landmark clean transportation bills advance in Virginia

Transportation is the largest source of carbon pollution in Virginia, as it is across the South. People drive over 230 million miles every day in...

Tennessee Congressman urges White House to rescind Memphis pipeline permit

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) wrote to President Biden urging that he direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rescind its recently issued na...

We’ve been fighting ‘forever chemicals’ in the South, and now there’s hope in D.C.

The number of chemicals created and in use by industry that wind up in our Southern rivers and lakes, drinking water, and communities has grown e...

2021 Reed Awards honor writing about the Southeast’s fragile coast

Two writers who have delved into the past and present challenges facing treasured places on the Southeast coast will receive SELC’s 2021 Phillip...

The scoop on our latest biogas actions

On February 4 and 5, SELC doubled down on its mission to protect clean air and clean water in North Carolina with a letter and legal challenge re...

More Stories