Virginia circling the Green New Drain
It took the newly empowered Virginia Dems less than six months, but the state is now paying a heavy price for the last election. Obvious is the ruinous transformation spawned by the pandemic and the never-ending anarchy resulting from BLM-themed mob rule. Longer-term changes started July 1 as the left's new and controversial laws took effect. Many are sex-themed:
- Elimination of all basic health and safety standards in abortion facilities (higher risk for women).
- Incorporation of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" (SOGI) as protected statuses (a real threat to religious organizations and a boon for lawyers).
- Mandated health coverage for transgender services and requires health carriers to pay for genital reconstruction surgeries (expect increased health care costs).
- Special treatment of transgender K–12 students, including bathroom and locker room use, dress codes, pronoun use, and sex-specific school activities (more for the lawyers).
- On-demand sex changes on official birth certificates (so much for science).
- Prohibits licensed counselors from helping minors overcome unwanted sexual desires but allows licensed professionals to offer "acceptance, support, and understanding" to minors undergoing gender "transition" or exploring unnatural sexual desires (yet another double standard).
The Monday after Independence Day, another transformative disaster was announced on the front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. After three years, climate activists have finally succeeded in stopping construction on the $8-billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). This pipeline from W.Va. would have met the growing clean energy needs of heavily populated and industrialized eastern areas of Va. and N.C. Nearly $4 billion is now wasted. Dominion Energy stockholders also lost a bundle.
Killing the ACP was a huge win for the left, and it may benefit Governor Northam's "Green New Deal," launched last September by executive order and now state law. It's basically a copycat of the Democrats' radical Green New Deal and mandates that thirty percent of Virginia's electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030 and one hundred percent from carbon-free sources by 2050. It also imposes the state's first carbon tax on electric power generation. It includes no mention of expanding carbon-free nuclear power or natural gas, but instead relies on bird-killing offshore and land-based wind farms, land-devouring solar farms with energy storage using expensive mega-batteries, and pumped hydroelectric storage (dams). Like the Dems' nationwide Green New Deal, the Virginia plan also advances socialist-sounding notions of social, energy, equity, and environmental justice.
This huge energy omnibus package will lead to higher energy costs for families and industry. According to the State Corporation Commission, families across Virginia can expect at least a $23.30 increase per month by 2027–2030 (about $280 annually). The new law also imposes a new gas tax that could reach as high as 18 cents per gallon depending on the locality.
Solar farms are popping up everywhere. One nearby covers about 200 acres of what used to be scenic farmland and forest immediately behind a once nice suburban neighborhood. Unlike the previous farm fields and forests, those shiny new black panels will generate a tremendous amount of heat comparable to acres of black cars on an asphalt parking lot in the summer sun. With summer temperatures already reaching 90 degrees, I would not want it in my backyard.
Sadly, a published article and book by renowned environmentalist and climate activist Michael Schellenberger came out too late to allow any critical thinking about Virginia's Green New Deal. In it, he apologizes for helping to create the climate change hysteria and also describes the right way to implement a clean energy plan.
- The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium.
- 100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today's 0.5% to 50%.
- The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.
Therefore, the Virginia and Biden/AOC plans are totally wrong, since both omit clean, low-carbon natural gas and carbon-free nuclear power. It was no surprise that Schellenberger's article in Forbes.com, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare," was immediately taken down. It reveals too much. However, a PDF copy is available here.
Finally, someone well credentialed from inside the beast had the courage to blow the whistle. Share this article with whomever you know and especially those with indoctrinated kids. Order his book, Apocalypse Never, to get the hard science behind his recommendations.
Mark Twain once said, "It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Michael knows that, but he risked it all to be a whistleblower.