Monday, April 6, 2009

Roanoke Times Rips "McDonnell's Single-Minded Focus on Coal, Oil and Other Fossil Fuels"

Via Lowell's Blue Virginia, the Roanoke Times editorial board blasts presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell's "1950s" energy plan:
McDonnell needs to realize that if Virginia wants to become the energy capital of America, the commonwealth must look to the future of renewable energy. The state simply doesn't have huge reserves of fossil fuels.

Take coal, for example. The National Mining Association estimates that Virginia has about 770 million tons of recoverable coal. Compare that to the 17.6 billion tons in West Virginia, or the 75 billion tons in Wyoming.

Oil is perhaps worse. In an online chart of proven reserves published by the U.S. Department of Energy, Virginia doesn't even merit an entry. Even if the most optimistic estimates of offshore reserves prove accurate, Virginia would be a minor player.
Check out the coal and oil reserve maps at ShowUSA. Even states like Iowa and Alabama have better shot at being the "coal capital" than Virginia. And forget about oil -- Virginia vanishes from the top 25 altogether.

Now look at the renewable energy map. The first thing you notice is that renewable resources are much more equitably spread among the states than fossil fuel deposits. The next thing is that while Virginia ranks 18th on the list, it's not a distant 18th -- and as a tech leader, Virginia is in much better position to take full advantage of the resources we have than other states ahead of us on the list. And if we do take advantage of Virginia's clean energy resources, we can create jobs, lower consumers' energy bills and preserve our planet.

Every Democratic candidate -- Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, and Brian Moran -- understands this. Bob McDonnell doesn't get it. We need to make sure voters know that in November.
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