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Youngkin: “Southwest Virginia Becoming Energy Capital of The Commonwealth”

Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed legislation that will help deliver on his All-American, All-of-the-Above Energy Plan priorities.

“Today is a great day for Virginia energy and American energy. With the bills I’m signing, we’re moving closer to delivering on the All-American, All-of-the-Above Energy Plan I put forward last year. We can, in fact, make Virginia energy more reliable, affordable, and clean while creating jobs and spurring innovation and today is a testament to that,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We’re not just making Southwest Virginia the energy capital of the Commonwealth, we’re unleashing our rich, limitless potential to deliver for all. This is just the beginning.”

Governor Youngkin signed the following bills today:

HB 2386, patroned by Delegate Israel O’Quinn and SB 1464, patroned by Senator Jill Vogel, creates the Virginia Power Innovation Fund to jump start the development of innovative energy technologies right here in Virginia and begins the process of creating a Virginia nuclear innovation hub.

HB 1779, patroned by Delegate Israel O’Quinn, creates the Nuclear Education Grant Fund to award competitive grants to Virginia colleges and schools for the creation of employment and training pathways in the nuclear power industry, including nuclear engineering and welding.

HB 1781, patroned by Delegate Israel O’Quinn and SB 1116, patroned by Senator Travis Hackworth, empowers the Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority to promote energy projects on former coal sites, develop Southwest’s energy workforce and supply chains, and advance Southwest Virginia’s energy industry.

HB 1643, patroned by Leader Terry Kilgore and SB 1121, patroned by Senator Travis Hackworth, declares that the policy of the Commonwealth is to encourage the capture and use of coal mine methane in Virginia’s energy supply, and directs the Virginia Department of Energy to research beneficial uses of coal mine methane.

HB 2401, patroned by Delegate Will Morefield and SB 1468, patroned by Senator Travis Hackworth, provides that funds included in the Coal and Gas Road Improvement Fund may go toward flood mitigation efforts in Southwest Virginia.

HB 2178, patroned by Delegate Will Morefield, adds coal mine methane extraction to the jobs eligible to receive green and alternative energy job creation tax credits.

Legislators issued the following statements on the bill signings:

“Having lived my whole life in Southwest Virginia, I know the promise that exists in our mountains and valleys. Energy innovation brought good paying jobs, and my bill to support the capture and use of coal mine methane from former coal sites is another example of Southwest Virginia leading the way in energy innovation,” said House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore.

“As American ingenuity and innovation discover new ways to power our economy, the energy revolution offers Southwest Virginia an opportunity to lead. My bills to create the Virginia Energy Innovation Fund, establish the Nuclear Education Grant Fund and Program, and empower the Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority to promote novel energy projects and train our energy workforce in cutting edge energy technologies, especially advanced nuclear applications, will help position Southwest Virginia to be the center of future energy supply chains,” said House Deputy Majority Leader Israel O’Quinn.

“States across the country are taking action to bring innovative energy supply chains home, and I felt strongly that Virginia needed to do more to bring energy industry jobs and investment into our Commonwealth. I firmly believe there is no better place for our own energy sector to be located than right in Southwest Virginia. Hydrogen, advanced nuclear technologies, fuel cells, solar, and carbon capture technologies require a workforce energized toward new opportunities and focused on innovation. The Power Innovation Fund will advance this here and across Virginia,” said Senator Jill Vogel.

“Southwest Virginia powered America’s industrial revolution, and my bill to encourage the capture and use of coal mine methane represent a commitment to that legacy. Even after a mine stops producing coal, coal mine methane left behind offers untapped potential to produce affordable, reliable energy that reduces harmful emissions at the same time,” said Senator Travis Hackworth.

“When Southwest Virginia was struck by record rainfall and flooding last year, it was incredible seeing neighbors and families come together to help those in dire need. But, I knew more must be done. My bill to bring coal and gas road improvement funds to support the construction and development of flood mitigation measures will help protect Southwest Virginians from natural disasters in the future,” said Delegate Will Morefield.

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