- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will unveil his update of the state’s quadrennial energy plan Wednesday to the General Assembly. The all-of-the-above strategy will keep Virginia’s energy mix at 36% nuclear, 30% natural gas, and 29% coal while increasing solar, pushing for offshore wind, and calling for state government-led efficiency programs.
- McAuliffe’s plan will include a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed EPA greenhouse gas regulations intended to protect the new governor’s compromise with the Republican-led General Assembly. Instead of pushing compliance specifics, the governor's plan will instead present a set of scenarios with suggested approaches to compliance.
- McAuliffe's energy plan is expected to recommend a diverse energy mix aimed at the swing state’s economy. It will be followed by an October 14 presentation of specifics such as whether to make the state's renewables target mandatory, preferred state supports for renewables and electric vehicles, and how to support the state’s coal industry.
Advocates hope McAuliffe’s enthusiasm for renewables and efficiency will be in the forthcoming energy plan, but insiders say the current, voluntary goal of 15% renewables by 2025 is not likely to become a mandate.
McAuliffe’s plan is expected to include suggestions about how a Virginia emissions reduction plan can include the state’s ample nuclear generation and more natural gas.
Renewable energy advocates and climate activists are also talking up the possibility of reducing emissions through participation in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Advocates say the move would be an elaboration on the 2006 cap and trade system Virginia used to control coal plant mercury emissions under the same Clean Air Act authority the EPA is using to justify its carbon regulations.