Bob McDonnell launches real energy strategy

Bob McDonnell launched his comprehensive energy strategy today on the campus of Old Dominion University, where one of McDonnell’s daughters graduated, focused on creating a Green Dominion for energy independence and economic growth.
“Make Virginia the energy capital of America,” a bold statement since 48 states import less electricity than Virginia. Only California is less self-sufficient than Virginia is and that simply adds cost upon cost to Virginia homeowners.

“The last thing we want is to have brownouts like California or 50-75% rate increases like Maryland all tied to a shortage of production capacity,” which McDonnell says is the risk we run if we continue to rank 49th out of 50 states in energy self-sufficiency.

This includes using offshore energy resources 50 miles off shore, as well as nuclear and clean coal. McDonnell also supports further research and implementation into wind, solar and biomass.

McDonnell didn’t specifically address it, but somehow I think there’s more energy potential in offshore exploration, nuclear, solar and wind than there is in Terry McAuliffe’s plan to make chicken droppings the fuel of the future.

McDonnell favors an expedited permitting and approval process for new energy sources, and creating “a Green Dominion” through tax credits for creating green jobs. Energy development means jobs, and McDonnell has laid out a comprehensive plan, as opposed to the “one alternative only “approach” of the Democrats.

McDonnell was introduced by Sen. Frank Wagner, who touted McDonnell’s goal to “make Virginia a leader in research and development.”

This is about “Putting people back to work for Virginia energy for Virginia industry and Virginia homeowners,” said Wagner.mcdwagner-wince

  • EJ

    Though opening up nuclear, off shore, etc are all go in the sense that we are allowing all energy options, McDonnell’s comments about having to make Virginia “energy independent” is the same bad argument for protectionism that dems espouse. If electricity can be made cheaper in another state, it makes sense to import it, and instead use those resources that would have gone into creating electricity in some other area. If energy independent is such a good thing, then lets go further. Every town must be independent. Even further, how about every household? How about every household produced all their own energy? Any takers? Obviously this would cost much more then what we are currently paying and out standard of living would go down.

    Same goes for “green jobs.” Any jobs that are created that wouldn’t have been created without the credit, means that we are paying too much for them. And these workers would have been better off working in some other industries that is actually efficient and economically viable. If a job is only economically viable because of a credit, then it shouldn’t be created. McDonnell is regurgitating the same underlying false premises that Obama preaches, that job creation in of itself is the end goal. We don’t work just to habe jobs. We work so we can buy things and if a job cost more then the value the worker creates, it’s a drag on the economy and shouldn’t be done. All this will just lead to wasted resources and more government/ business collusion and corruption. If Mr. O had stated this, you’d be attacking it, but because an R said it, its great.

    If it is indeed important to curtail greenhouse emissions, then place a carbon tax or cap and trade scheme to adjust for the externality and then step aside. Then let the market figure out the most viable means of achieving it is, not micro managing with credits and subsides with the government picking winners and losers. McDonnell is just as bad as obama on this.

  • EJ,

    While Virginia might need to become dependent on other states for alternative wind energy (they have the advantage of prairie winds) we need not follow California’s example in becoming a net importer.

    We import when the winds are blowing, we export when the winds die down. If they overcharge us, we overcharge them. Needed transmission lines will work in both directions.

  • EJ

    Little david,

    but why is it necessarily needed to become energy independent, or at least become on net even? I’m not saying california is a model. Their issue has mroe to do with restricting supply and in their case deregulating retail but not wholesale electricity so their ends up being supply shortages.

    What I am saying is that virginia may not have a comparative advantage in electricity generation for whatever reasons, and therefore necessarily making it a goal to produce more is not good policy. Why is it necessarily better to buy electricity produced in virgina as apposed to from some other state? This is no different then saying that Virginia needs to become clothes independent or wheat independent or car independent. Should be making it policy to become on net wheat independent?

  • EJ

    and if enrgy independence is good for virginia, why isnt it good for my howm county of arlington? Arlington should become a independent on net right? Even better, my neighborhood should be… and so on and so on. Under this argument, this logic follows.

  • EJ, the problem is when we are #2 in the nation at relying on other states, it’s not cheaper to just buy power off someone else’s grid. No state chooses to go out to the market to buy power when they have a choice – that’s a seller’s market.

    Conversely, if you can provide for yourself, and sell surpluses to other states, you’ve hit the jackpot.

    Conversely, your comment about “green jobs” misses the point, too. “If a job is only economically viable because of a credit, then it shouldn’t be created. ”

    It’s not a question if the job is economically viable or not (it is!). It’s a question of whether it’s created in Virginia or some other state.

    And you are woefully incorrect about me and Mr. O. If Obama said this, I’d be posting about how right he is.

  • EJ

    “It’s not a question if the job is economically viable or not (it is!). It’s a question of whether it’d created in Virginia or not.”

    if a job requires a credit to be created, how is it economicly viable? If these jobs were economcially viable, then why do we need a tax credit (subsidy) in the first place? The whole fact that it requires a subsidy means that in the market the benfit of the output is not worth the cost of employing the person.

    The notion of creating “green jobs” as a way to promote growth is a major fallicy. If green energy was alreadyt he moste ocnomically sound option, it would already be done. The reaosnw hy we use coal, oil, etc is because they are cheap. The only reaosn why we should be moving towards “green energy” would be because there is a potential negative externality of carbon emmissions. Understand though that unlike Obama, and now McDonnell, green jobs are not a benifit to the economy, they are a drag. These people and the capital they work with could have been used elsewhere. This drag is only worth it if there is an enviromental benift that excedes the added cost.

  • EJ

    “Conversely, if you can provide for yourself, and sell surpluses to other states, you’ve hit the jackpot.’

    Only if the benifit of selling that electricity exceeds the benifit of what could have been produced with the capital and labor that went into producing the extra electricity. There is an opportunity cost – the state only has so many workers and capital to produce things.

  • EJ
  • I’m a bit fuzzy on the “tax credit” thing. This sounds like a give away. Tax credit means less revenue. Where’s the revenue loss made up??? I’m not trying to be critical just curious.

  • EJ, do you read what other people write before you simply repeat your comments?

    You’re assuming that a tax credit makes the job viable. I didn’t say it did. I just said that a good tax credit might be just the incentive for that job to be in Virginia rather than North Carolina or Georgia.

    Now, if there was a tax credit for spelling, perhaps you’d stop typing “benifit”

  • Wally, I’m glad to see you fight for more government revenue.

  • Brian: I asked a question. And its not about more revenue, its about less revenue that has to be made up. Don’t spin this. I’m only asking what others would inquire. Where is the wash? Or is it a decrement that has to be budgeted? Does your sarcasm indicate that there is no answer?

  • It only has to be made up if you are opposed to smaller government.

  • Unbelievable, spin doctor. You don’t know what gets decremented! Sure, government gets smaller, I agree, I concur. Which part in the plan identifies what gets smaller so government doesn’t get bigger. Gee, Brian can’t you answer a direct question without a mocking remark?

  • Look, McDonnell is trying to farm both sides of the fence. It hurts the message.

    EJ is absolutely right on the green jobs thing. Viability is an issue. It isn’t good enough to JUST create a job that could not stand without government intervention. However, I might disagree with EJ in that I think Virginia stands to gain by becoming an energy producer. I do understand his point that it isn’t always efficient to be independent regarding every product. I just don’t think it applies here.

    I think there’s plenty room for Virginia to explore new energy production sites. I’m not necessarily against incentives. You don’t want to give away the store, but incentives for a business to locate in Virginia can be a good thing. Wally is correct in asking where the return for the credit is. The creation of an unviable business and the taxation of the artificailly employed is not acceptable. There must be a potential for self sustaining operations and growth. There should be incentives for all types of business if it is viable and adds value to our economy.

    Creating “Green Jobs” for the sake of being “Green” is political pandering. Nothing against “Green”, but let’s make sure its viable and not our next corporate or Public/Private welfare queen. SPSA is technically “Green”. We see the lack of success in that money pit.

    I’m not a big McDonnell fan but, I applaud any effort for energy production and independence where plausible. I applaud the effort, but just being “Green” is not enough. Republicans have successfully used the message of energy independence. McDonnell is taking a risk here by selling his plan in a manner unpalatable to fiscal conservatives. I really do think the message needs to be seriously reworked. Energy creation and the Free Market can work hand in hand. Artifical “Frankensteins” created by “Big Government” are indeed monstrosities that shouldn’t have been alive to begin with.

  • “Gee, Brian can’t you answer a direct question without a mocking remark?”

    Sorry…thought I was a Virginia News Source blogger for a second.

  • Darrell — Chesapeake

    Yeah, the McD trifecta should do real well with those Koch Industries surrogates running their campaign and the RPV. Drill baby, drill!

  • Yes, Darrell. Everything’s a conspiracy.

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