Va. governor revives climate change commission

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has signed an executive order to re-convene the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission.

The July 1 action says the panel will evaluate recommendations first made during the administration of former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) who served from 2006 through 2010.

“We need to prepare Virginia’s coastal communities to deal with the growing threat of climate change, which is why I’ve re-convened the Climate Commission for the first time in four years,” McAuliffe said in a news release.

This Commission will evaluate the recommendations made by then-Governor Kaine’s Climate Commission, determine what actions were taken on those recommendations, and issue an updated final report.  The Executive Order gives the Commission one year to complete its work.

The bipartisan Commission is made up of leaders from around the state including local elected officials, members of the General Assembly, business leaders, environmental advocates, faith leaders, and industry representatives.

The panel includes more than 30 members including representatives of stakeholders such as Dominion (NYSE:D); American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) subsidiary Appalachian Power; the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).

“Virginia has immense potential to reduce carbon pollution by promoting more efficient transportation solutions and by growing industries in solar power, offshore wind, and energy efficiency—which will be good for the health of our economy and our environment,” the SELC said in a news release.

Virginia is also a coal producing state although its output has been dropping over the years. It ranked as the nation’s No. 14 coal producer during 2012 with less than 2% of total U.S. output, according to figures posted by the National Mining Association.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified some Virginia coastal areas as among the most vulnerable to sea level rise in the nation, and the U.S. Navy Task Force Climate Change has identified Naval Station Norfolk as one of its most endangered installations, according to the order.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.