Climate Clips: Solar power, broadband, sales taxes and more: a roundup of 2024 General Assembly actions

Legislation to create a shared solar program for Appalachian Power customers and expand Dominion Energy’s existing program cleared both the House and Senate and now awaits a decision by the governor. Advocates say shared solar programs promote clean energy and can help people save money, but opponents say the programs shift costs onto other ratepayers.

See the full story on the Cardinal News.

More DMV News

No Money in Virginia Budget for Bill That Would Have Helped Pay for Rural Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Cardinal News
This General Assembly session, Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Fairfax County, got the House of Delegates to pass a bill and added a $2 million budget request that made the House’s list. But Thursday’s General Assembly budget report ultimately didn’t have any money for it.

Application Windows for Heating and Cooling Assistance Could Expand Under Virginia Bill
Virginia Mercury
Virginians who need help paying for their heating and cooling bills could have longer periods to apply to the state for assistance if a bill makes it through the Senate and Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s review.

Bills to Preserve Trees During Home Building Awaiting Action from Governor
Virginia Mercury
Environmental groups back proposals to give localities across the state the option to require tree preservation; developers want more flexibility with them.

D.C.’s Kingman Island, Once a ‘Pile of Dredge Waste,’ is Reborn
Washington Post
On Kingman Island, a 40-acre spit of land in the Anacostia River, environmental protection specialist Lee Cain stands in front of a pile of wooden debris. It’s a damp February day, and a strangely familiar chemical smell hangs in the air. For those of a certain generation, the smell conjures up the memory of … telephone poles?

National and International News

Amid Explosive Demand, America is Running Out of Power
Washington Post
Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid.

Building Energy Code Revamps Can Get Another $90M from DOE
Utility Dive
The Department of Energy announced March 4 that it is making $90 million available to help states and localities adopt and implement building energy codes, which set energy efficiency standards for new buildings, additions and major renovations.

Yes, Heat Pumps Slash Emissions Even if Powered By a Dirty Grid
Canary Media
So do electric heat pumps really lower emissions if they run on dirty grid power? The answer is an emphatic yes. Even on a carbon-heavy diet, heat pumps eliminate tons of emissions annually compared to other heating systems.

SEC Climate Emission Disclosure Rules Are Only A Small Step Forward
Clean Technica
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally released its climate emission disclosure rules. Investors have been worried about these rules and the implications of Scope 3 transparency on their portfolios, so they asked the SEC for help in making prudent financial decisions. In turn, regulators within the SEC have spent a year trying to respond to the wide variety of comments that have flooded in since they released a March, 2022 disclosure proposal.

US Senators Want Biden to go Further in Blocking Chinese EVs
Just as the EU is considering tariffs on Chinese EVs imported into Europe, three US Democratic senators are urging that the Biden administration hike import tariffs on Chinese EVs to address national security risks.