In Virginia, Big Coal beats efficiency by one vote
At the beginning of the week, I wrote over at Huffington Post about how the State of Virginia could be poised to take significant action to bolster the economy and help the climate by passing an energy efficiency bill introduced by State Senator Donald McEachin.
As reported by Lauren Glickman at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw from the Northern Virginia suburbs cast the tie-breaking vote to keep green jobs out of his state. For Saslaw, Virginia is apparently for unemployment … and pollution.
Not surprisingly, Saslaw has received more money from Dominion Power, the state’s leading burner of coal fired energy, than any other legislator since 2004.
Perhaps if these were normal times, this would be just another story of polluter influence. But in these extraordinary — and extraordinarily tough — times, it’s something more. Article XI, a great new Virginia blog, reports that the bill would “save Virginians approximately $15 billion on electric bills by the year 2025,” creating thousands of jobs. Investing in energy efficiency produces more than two and a half times the number of jobs as investments in coal.
Opposing energy efficiency means killing jobs — something that Saslaw will have to take home to his constituents — and everybody in Virginia who was hoping the Democratic leadership would actually stand up for jobs and an end to polluter corruption. You can call Saslaw and let him know how you feel about his vote at 804-698-7535.