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Climate, Politics, Virginia

Virginia lawmakers reject Gov. Youngkin’s amendment to delay clean-energy opportunities

Crystal Graham
virginia state capitol
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Lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly rejected an amendment today by Gov. Glenn Youngkin to a bill to establish the Virginia Clean Energy Innovation Bank.

Youngkin’s amendment would have required lawmakers to vote again on the issue in 2025.

The proposed innovation bank would finance clean energy projects, greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects and other projects through public funds in the form of grants, loans and other financing mechanisms.

The proposed 12-member board of the innovation bank would include nine citizen members and three ex-officio members including the director of the Department of Energy, the chief executive officer of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority and the state treasurer or their designee.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters believes lawmakers made the right choice because the time is now to capitalize on clean energy projects.

“First, Governor Youngkin shot down a multi-million-dollar Ford electric vehicle battery plant. Then, he decided to let our tax dollars go to help other states drive their clean energy transition, along with the jobs and economic growth that come with it,” said Michael Town, executive director of the VLCV.

“Senators were right to reject Youngkin’s backwards amendment to this bill. We shouldn’t have to wait to bring clean energy dollars to Virginia.

“Doing so means missing out on an incredible opportunity to take advantage of federal programs and incentives that can help cut pollution and create clean energy jobs here in the Commonwealth,” said Town.

“We sincerely hope our governor does the right thing for our economy by signing this bill into law.”

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.