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Governor Glenn Youngkin: “Virginia Has A Better Idea Than Biden’s Dangerous Energy Plan”

The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency recently released a rehashed version of the Obama “Clean Power Plan,” which the Supreme Court rejected in West Virginia v. EPA just last year.

The new standards would be catastrophic to our nation’s power infrastructure and deepen our dependence on supply chains already dominated by China — furthering Team Biden’s relentless efforts to concede fully one of America’s greatest advantages, energy independence.

In Virginia, as our economy grows and power needs accelerate, we are leading with a fresh perspective: an All-American, All-of-the-Above Energy Plan that will deliver reliable, affordable and increasingly clean power.

There’s no need to predetermine power-plant retirements on arbitrary timelines as liberal activists desire.

Our Virginia Plan embraces innovative technologies, including small modular reactors, carbon capture, hydrogen and advanced battery storage, and uses all fuel sources, both traditional and renewables, to bring more baseload generation and peaking capacity online while further reducing emissions from existing capacity.

At the same time we’re embracing innovative technologies, we’re not forgetting energy solutions must be affordable for the families and local businesses that use them every day.

This is why on day one I began the process to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative a regressive tax on Virginians that’s done nothing to further the left’s pollution or emission goals, only increased costs on people throughout our state.

I’m proud that just days ago, Virginia’s Air Board voted to remove the Commonwealth from this misguided cap-and-trade initiative.

Of course, liberals attacked our decision — blaming our withdrawal from this ineffective tax scheme for wildfires in Canada.

With its proposal, the Biden administration demonstrates again that it’s both incapable of long-term energy planning and unprepared for the changes this regulation would demand — requiring most natural-gas and coal plants to reduce emissions by 90% by 2035 or be forced to shut down.

The rule sets unrealistic timelines based on carbon-reducing technologies that are not yet commercially ready.

Team Biden has no strategy to combat China’s dominance of the critical-minerals supply chain; nor does it have plans to deploy the transmission infrastructure required.

Already, the announced retirements of thermal-baseload generators over the next decade far outpace planned renewable investments, leaving a gaping hole between power supply and demand, with an even greater gap for reliable, baseload-generating capacity.

As governor of a state in the PJM Interconnection regional-transmission organization, I was particularly alarmed by the February report revealing 40 gigawatts of thermal generating capacity scheduled to retire by 2030 with only 31 gigawatts of new capacity planned to come online.

Indeed, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. has also cautioned that the country is retiring traditional generation sources too rapidly.

Instead of heeding this warning and taking action to stave off future electricity shortages and blackouts like those seen in Europe, California and New York, the Biden administration is doubling down with this destructive regulation engineered for short-term political points instead of responsible long-term power planning.

In Virginia, the mismatch is magnified.

While our surrounding states’ power demand is projected to rise 1% annually, Virginia’s rapidly growing technology and advanced manufacturing sectors require five times the generation-supply growth.

Our regulated utilities recognize that thanks to flawed demand forecasting and the misguided approach to retirements mandated by the previous, Democrat-controlled General Assembly and administration, Virginia needs new natural-gas plants to meet our energy needs.

Let’s not forget Winter Storm Elliot this past Christmas season, when only by activating fossil-fuel plants slated for retirement under the Biden proposal were we able to keep the lights on. Common sense must remain part of energy planning.

The Biden team’s efforts to accelerate the transition in a fantasyland timeframe are fundamentally misguided.

An All-American, All-of-the-Above Plan should incorporate innovative technologies, but we must not be naïve to renewables’ current challenges.

American families and businesses already experience daily the burdens of this administration’s irresponsible energy plan; this proposal further demonstrates a complete disregard for an affordable and reliable power future.

The Biden team needs to abandon this proposal and the lasting damage it would have on America’s energy and power future and begin a dialogue with the states and the American public that embraces the complexities of energy planning that have been clearly ignored.

– Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

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