Updated with post-visit response from Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem.
U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine visited Roanoke this morning to tour the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant — particularly a pair of 500 kW generators that run on methane gas.
During his last year as governor in 2009, Kaine helped channel $500,000 in federal stimulus money to construction of the generators, which cost about $3 million total. The investment will pay for itself within seven years due to savings on energy costs, said Western Virginia Water Authority spokeswoman Sarah Baumgartner.
Kaine said the stop is part of a tour of “innovative technologies” within Virginia that can be a model both nationally and internationally.
“During my time as governor we worked with the authority on our recovery act grant to enable them to take methane –that naturally is produced as you’re dealing with wastewater treatment – and to use the methane to convert it to energy,” Kaine said. “By doing that here at the plant, they are able to meet 40-plus percent of their energy needs. Instead of having to buy it from someone they produce it on site.”
Kaine said that true energy innovation is not only good for the environment but results in savings.
Kaine has taken heat from Republicans for what they say is a preference for untested alternative energy technologies over tried and true sources like oil, coal and natural gas.
In a news release from the Republican Party of Virginia, Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, said: “It’s ironic that Tim Kaine calls for ‘all of the above’ approach yet he supports Cap and Trade national energy tax and praises new EPA regulations that would decimate the Virginia coal industry and devastate Virginia families. The coal industry is a powerful force in Virginia’s economy and Tim Kaine’s anti-coal agenda will not only cause enormous job losses in Southwest Virginia, it will cause electricity prices to skyrocket and the negative effects will be felt all over the Commonwealth. Our economy is already hurting enough – Virginians can’t afford Tim Kaine’s plan that will destroy Virginia jobs.”
After the visit, the RPV also sent this response from Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem:
“While Tim Kaine touts his new-found election year position on energy, Virginians know his record for delaying offshore energy development, supporting Cap-and-Trade and championing EPA regulations speaks louder than words. Tim Kaine stands as an ‘unabashed’ supporter of President Obama as he blocks good-paying jobs with the Keystone Pipeline and wages a regulatory assault on coal that will destroy thousands of Virginia jobs. Virginia families and communities can’t afford to have Tim Kaine as a Senator for President Obama.”
During the tour, I asked Kaine about GOP charges that he’s pushing alternative energy sources at the expense of oil, natural gas and coal, and this was his response:
“One governor created a state energy plan to, for example, call for exploration of offshore energy. It wasn’t George Allen, it was Tim Kaine. George Allen was in the Senate and he didn’t do anything to promote it. We have a statewide energy plan that has opened up the possibility of offshore drilling. That happened when I was governor. I was involved very deeply in the permitting of a state of the art, next-generation coal plant in Virginia. My opponent cannot claim that. The Wise County coal plant that just actually opened – it went online producing power in the last month – was something I worked very hard to make sure was permitted when I was governor. IT really is setting a standard: Dramatically lower mercury emissions, dramatically less use of water, reductions in nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide, built in a way to take advantage of carbon capture and sequestration technology should it be developed. SO I’ve been very involved, directly involved, in using traditional energy sources in Virginia, but always trying to do it cleaner.”
Further pressed about the question of coal, Kaine elaborated: “Look, I just believe the way for coal to be successful is not to roll back standards or shake your fist at the EPA. You’ve got to make sure the regulatory balance is right, but the way for coal to be successful is to demonstrate you can innovate in coal. Once you demonstrate you can innovate with coal – and the Virginia plant is an example, then we’re creating construction jobs and operating jobs, and everyone around the world can learn from this plant because it is so state of the art.”
After the jump, you can read more about Kaine’s “Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation” platform released Tuesday, as well as the response from the RPV:
Here’s the Kaine release:
KAINE RELEASES “STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY THROUGH ENERGY INNOVATION” AGENDA
Richmond, VA - Today, Kaine for Virginia released its latest policy proposal “Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation” – an all of the above energy strategy to expand the use of all sustainable forms of domestic energy that will create jobs in Virginia and increase security and sustainability.
The policy includes proposals to build advanced energy infrastructure, increase conservation, and develop new technologies in alternative fuels like wind, solar, and biomass that are creating jobs in Virginia. The approach also contains an openness to drilling for natural gas and oil off the coast of Virginia with revenue sharing agreements to boost conservation and infrastructure.
“In order to compete in the emerging $2.3 trillion clean energy market, we need to be on the cutting edge of new technologies like wind, solar, and nuclear power while continuing to utilize our wealth of traditional domestic energy resources like Virginia’s plentiful coal reserves and natural gas,” said Kaine. “By implementing an all of the above strategy, we can guarantee sustainable, affordable, and reliable sources of energy in Virginia that will increase our independence and security, and grow our economy.”
As governor, Kaine implemented Virginia’s first comprehensive energy policy that included alternative energy sources like biofuels, solar, and wind, as well as an openness to exploratory drilling for natural gas, nuclear, and cleaner coal technology. The energy policy also included a goal of reducing Virginia’s rate of growth in energy use by 40 percent, global warming pollution by 30 percent, and increasing in-state energy production by 20 percent. During his term, Kaine also oversaw the permitting of the state-of-the-art cleaner coal facility in Wise County that marks one of the most significant investments in Southwest Virginia.
STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY THROUGH ENERGY INNOVATION
Kaine’s energy strategy includes:
- Efficiency & Conservation: Expand consumer education to increase efficiency, support modernization of buildings to lower utility costs, and promote energy efficient vehicles to reduce pollution and save costs.
- Infrastructure: Identify and advance opportunities to improve energy infrastructure like Smart Grid technology that will increase reliability.
- Wind: Support the Production Tax Credit and the development of Virginia’s offshore and land-based wind resources to create local jobs and generate clean, affordable electricity.
- Solar: Increase competitiveness of American companies and innovators in solar energy by increasing investments.
- Biofuels and Biomass: End subsidies for inefficient corn-based fuels, and support the utilization of byproducts to generate electricity and conserve landfill capacity.
- Nuclear: Bolster safety of nuclear energy facilities to encourage their continued role in our nation’s energy production.
- Natural Gas: Promote the development of America’s natural gas resources in a safe, responsible manner.
- Coal: Increase cleaner coal technology that is both environmentally and business friendly.
- Offshore Drilling: Support Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act to allow Virginia to tap into its oil resources.
Click HERE to read “Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation”
And here’s the response from the Republican Party of Virginia:
Kaine’s Real Energy Plan: Devastating Job Losses
|Today, Tim Kaine released his latest attempt to mislead Virginia voters by unveiling his “all-of-the above” plan that ignores his support for counterproductive energy policies that would lead to devastating job losses in Virginia and higher electricity costs.
“It’s ironic that Tim Kaine calls for ‘all of the above’ approach yet he supports Cap and Trade national energy tax and praises new EPA regulations that would decimate the Virginia coal industry and devastate Virginia families,” said Delegate Terry Kilgore. ”The coal industry is a powerful force in Virginia’s economy and Tim Kaine’s anti-coal agenda will not only cause enormous job losses in Southwest Virginia, it will cause electricity prices to skyrocket and the negative effects will be felt all over the Commonwealth. Our economy is already hurting enough – Virginians can’t afford Tim Kaine’s plan that will destroy Virginia jobs.”
And while Tim Kaine may have suddenly decided to support drilling off our coast, he consistently worked to delay the production of oil off Virginia’s coast when he was Governor. Then he stood with President Obama while he rejected the Keystone Pipeline, saying no to thousands of good-paying jobs.
“Tim Kaine has had a curious election year conversion,” said Delegate Chris Stolle. “Yet even with this new found support he has yet to ask the one person who has directly denied us the opportunity to produce energy off our coasts and create thousands of Virginia jobs: President Obama. As an ‘unabashed supporter’ and ‘good friend’ you would think Tim Kaine would ask President Obama to put Virginia jobs and families above their Washington political agendas.”
Tim Kaine may be a ‘good friend’ of President Obama and his counterproductive energy policies but those policies are no friend of Virginia families and workers.
Kaine’s Real Energy Record
Longtime Advocate For Cap And Trade
September 2007: Kaine Said He Supports “Legislation That Includes A Cap-And-Trade Program For Emissions Of All Greenhouse Gases.” “I support legislation that includes a cap-and-trade program for emissions of all greenhouse gases, imposes economy-wide controls, rather than singling out a particular sector, and accounts for state efforts to standardize methodologies to record and measure green house gas emissions through the Climate Registry.” (Governor Tim Kaine, Testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, 9/26/07)
February 2009: “Governor Kaine Has Long Advocated A Federal, Nationwide Cap-And-Trade Program.” “Governor Kaine has long advocated a federal, nationwide cap-and-trade program to bring about annual CO2 reductions in the United States and has proposed a 19% reduction in electricity consumption in Virginia by 2025, the top recommendation of the governor’s commission on climate change.” (Governor Tim Kaine, “Governor Kaine, United Kingdom Forge New Agreement To Address Climate Change Issues,” Press Release, 2/12/09)
June 2009: Kaine “I Do Think We’ve Got To Have A Cap And Trade Or Equivalent System.” “Yeah, it would be difficult for me to either cap and trade or universal health care as governor if the feds don’t do it. I mean, I do think we’ve got to have a cap and trade or equivalent system, uh, to start to control carbon emissions.” (“Ask The Governor” with Tim Kaine, 1140WRVA, 6/25/09)
But Cap And Trade Is A “Great Big” National Energy Tax That Would Cause More Unemployment And Harm The Economy
MASSIVE JOBS LOSSES OVER TIME:
According To A Study By The National Black Chamber Of Commerce, Cap And Trade Will Reduce “Net Employment By 2.5 Million Jobs” And Reduce Wages. “[C]ap-and-trade system outlined in bill would: reduce national GDP roughly $350 billon below the baseline level; cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs (even after accounting for new “green” jobs), reduce earnings for the average U.S. worker by $390 per year.” (National Black Chamber of Commerce, “NBCC Study Finds Waxman-Markey Reduces GDP by $350 Billion,” Press Release, 5/21/09)
According To An Analysis By The Heritage Foundation, Nearly 2.5 Million Jobs Will Be Lost As A Result Of Cap-And-Trade. “Job losses due to Waxman-Markey’s energy restrictions would be in the millions. . . . Job losses will be nearly 2.5 million.” (David Kreutzer, “Heritage Analysis Of Waxman-Markey Hits Where Others Miss,” The Heritage Foundation, 8/6/09)
According To The Left-Leaning Brookings Institution, Cap-And-Trade Legislation Would Result In Job Losses. “A report issued by the left-leaning research organization [The Brookings Institution] said that if Congress passes something similar to President Obama’s or the House’s proposed plan, the economy would take the biggest hit around 2025. . . . About 35 percent of crude-oil-related jobs and 40 percent of coal-related jobs would be lost in 2025, according to the analysis. It assumes that the majority of workers would find new jobs, but the net job loss would be 0.5 percent over the first 10 years that the legislation is in effect.” (Amanda DeBard, “Study: Cap and Trade Would Hurt Economy,” The Washington Times, 6/9/09)
CAP AND TRADE WOULD CAUSE AN INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY RATES AND GASOLINE PRICES:
According To An Analysis By The Heritage Foundation, “Electricity Prices Will Rise 90%.” “In particular, the Heritage analysis projects that by 2035 the economic impacts (in constant 2009 dollars) of this bill are: . . . Electricity prices will rise 90 percent.” (David Kreutzer, “Heritage Analysis Of Waxman-Markey Hits Where Others Miss,” The Heritage Foundation, 8/6/09)
Gas Prices Will Increase 58%, Or $1.38. “In particular, the Heritage analysis projects that by 2035 the economic impacts (in constant 2009 dollars) of this bill are: . . . Gasoline prices will rise 58 percent (or $1.38).” (David Kreutzer, “Heritage Analysis Of Waxman-Markey Hits Where Others Miss,” The Heritage Foundation, 8/6/09)
CAP AND TRADE WOULD HARM VIRGINIA:
Cap And Trade Would Cost Virginia Between 41,400 And 56,400 Jobs. “The jobs impact of W/M is delayed by the free allocation of permits and generous carbon offsets. By 2030, as emission reduction targets tighten and other W/M provisions phase out, Virginia jobs decline by 41,400 under the low cost case and by 56,400 under the high cost case.” (“Virginia: Economic Impact on the State from the Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454,” American Council For Capital Formation, 2009)
Household Income Would Decrease By As Much As $1,096. “Higher energy prices would have ripple impacts on prices throughout the economy and would impose a financial cost on households. Virginia would see disposable household income reduced by $103 to $235 per year by 2020 and $608 to $1,096 by 2030.” (“Virginia: Economic Impact on the State from the Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454,” American Council For Capital Formation, 2009)
“By 2015, Gasoline Would Increase Between 6% And 8%, Electricity Between 2% And 3% And Natural Gas Between 13% And 20%.” (“Virginia: Economic Impact on the State from the Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454,” American Council For Capital Formation, 2009)
“By 2030, Gasoline Prices Increase Between 20% And 26% While Electricity Prices Increase By Up To 53% And Natural Gas By Up To 64%.” (“Virginia: Economic Impact on the State from the Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454,” American Council For Capital Formation, 2009)
“High Energy Prices, Fewer Jobs, And Loss Of Industrial Output Are Estimated To Reduce Virginia’s Gross State Product (GSP) By Between $1.0 And $1.8 Billion Per Year By 2020 And $10.9 And $14.9 Billion By 2030.” (“Virginia: Economic Impact on the State from the Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454,” American Council For Capital Formation, 2009)
EPA Regulations And The War On Coal?
Kaine: “My Advice Is, Don’t Try To Weaken Regulations”
“‘My Advice Is, Don’t Try To Weaken Regulations,’ [Kaine] Told Voters In Southwestern Virginia Last Week. ‘Sell Your Story. Say We Can Meet These Standards.’” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
Under Proposed EPA Regulations Kaine Says Shouldn’t Be Weakened, The Wise Plant Wouldn’t Meet New Standards
“. . . Last Week, The Environmental Protection Agency Proposed A Regulation Limiting Newly Constructed Coal-Fired Plants To 1,000 Pounds Of Carbon Emissions Per Megawatt Generated.” (David McGee, “Kaine, Warner Tour Local Businesses,” Bristol Herald Courier, 4/5/12)
“‘The Virginia City Center [In Wise County] Is Permitted To Burn Up To 20 Percent Biomass. But At 10 Percent Biomass, The Plant Would Produce About 1,740 Pounds Per Megawatt Hour,’ [Company Spokesman Dan] Genest Said.” (David McGee, “Kaine, Warner Tour Local Businesses,” Bristol Herald Courier, 4/5/12)
Kaine Brags About Wise County Coal Fired Plant “Virtually Everywhere He Goes,” Even Though No One Remembers Him Playing A Role
Kaine’s New “Energy” Policy: “As Governor, I Promoted Next-Generation Clean Coal Technology By Supporting The Permitting Of A State-Of-The-Art Coal-Fired Plant In Wise County.” (“Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation,” Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate, 7/31/12)
“A Key To [Kaine's] Record Is The Looming Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, A State-Of-The-Art 585-Megawatt Coal-Fired Power Plant On The Outskirts Of St. Paul That Started Commercial Operations On Thursday.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
“Mr. Kaine Mentions The Plant Virtually Everywhere He Goes As An Antidote To Efforts To Link Him To Obama Administration Policies That Have Been Tough On Coal.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
“The Plant Is Proof, He Said, That Coal And Clean-Air Regulations Can Coexist.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
“In More Than A Dozen Interviews In St. Paul, No One Was Familiar With Any Role That Mr. Kaine Had In Getting The Plant Going.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
“As Recently As March, The Former Governor Toured The Plant In A Campaign Swing. It Did Not Seem To Make An Impression.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
“‘I Did The Permitting, And I Don’t Remember That,’ Jeff Kite, 44, An Environmental Engineer, Said About Mr. Kaine’s Role.” (Jonathan Weisman, “A Hunt For Split-Ticket Voters In A Tight Virginia Senate Race,” The New York Times, 7/19/12)
Election Year Conversion On Offshore Drilling
In 2006, As Governor, Tim Kaine Amended Legislation That Would Have Called For A Return To Drilling For Natural Gas To Instead Call For A Study
“Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) Blocked Provisions Friday Of An Energy Bill Passed By The General Assembly That Advocated Resumption Of Drilling For Natural Gas Off Virginia’s Coast.” (Chris L. Jenkins, “Kaine Amends Energy Bill That Sought Drilling Exemption,” The Washington Post, 4/8/06)
“Kaine Amended The Bill So It Simply Supports Any Federal Efforts To Determine How Much Natural Gas Exists 50 Or More Miles Off The Atlantic Coast.” (Chris L. Jenkins, “Kaine Amends Energy Bill That Sought Drilling Exemption,” The Washington Post, 4/8/06)
In 2007, As Governor, Tim Kaine Outlined His Energy Plan That Maintained His Long-Held Position: Study But No Drilling
“Gov. Timothy M. Kaine Has Mapped Out An Energy Strategy For Virginia That Would Boost In-State Energy Production, Conserve Usage And Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” (Patrick Lynch, “Kaine Pushes Conservation In His Virginia Energy Plan,” Daily Press [Newport News, Virginia], 9/13/07)
“Kaine’s Plan Addresses The Possibility Of Natural Gas Reserves Off The Coast Of Virginia, But Does Not Change His Administration’s Previous Position On Offshore Drilling: That Only Exploration Should Be Allowed At This Time Before Leases Are Sold To Allow Actual Drilling And Production.” (Patrick Lynch, “Kaine Pushes Conservation In His Virginia Energy Plan,” Daily Press [Newport News, Virginia], 9/13/07)
In 2008, Democrats In Congress Allowed Moratorium To Expire And Set In Motion Plans To Allow Natural Gas And Oil Drilling Offshore, Which Governor Tim Kaine Said He Supported
“Democrats Have Decided To Allow A Quarter-Century Ban On Drilling For Oil Off The Atlantic And Pacific Coasts To Expire Next Week, Conceding Defeat In A Months-Long Battle With The White House And Congressional Republicans That Was Set Off By $4-A-Gallon Gasoline Prices This Summer.” (“Democrats Will Let Drilling Ban Lapse,” The Virginian-Pilot [Norfolk, Virginia], 9/24/08)
“The Federal Government Is Moving Forward With The Process To Lease Land Off The Virginia Coast For Oil And Gas Exploration.” (Neil H. Simon, “Off-Shore Drilling Moves Forward In Va.,” McClatchy, 11/12/08)
“Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, A Democrat, Has Supported Off-Shore Exploration For Natural Gas. He Welcomed The News.” (Neil H. Simon, “Off-Shore Drilling Moves Forward In Va.,” McClatchy, 11/12/08)
But Then Kaine Asked For The Permitting Process To Be Put On Hold Until The Obama Administration Could Take Office
“In A Letter Before Christmas, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine Asked The Federal Minerals Management Service To Put Off Its Offshore Planning Process Until Feb. 28 ‘To Allow Time For The New Administration That Will Take Office In January To Consider Its Options To The Proposed Actions.’” (Scott Harper, “Regulators Reject Va. Leaders’ Pleas To Delay Drilling Plans,” The Virginian-Pilot [Norfolk, Virginia], 1/2/09)
Rejected, Kaine Increased Pressure By Writing To New Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
“Gov. Timothy M. Kaine Has Stepped Up Efforts To Persuade President Barack Obama To Slow Plans For Oil And Gas Development Off The Virginia Coast, A Shift Panned Earlier This Month By Obama’s Interior Secretary.” (Dale Eisman, “In Letter, Kaine Urges Slowing Plans To Drill,” The Virginian-Pilot [Norfolk, Virginia], 2/25/09)
“Virginia ‘Policies Do Not Support Exploration For Oil Or Production Of Gas Or Oil,’ Kaine Asserted In A Letter To Secretary Ken Salazar That Was Made Public Tuesday. State Law Now Backs Only Exploration For Gas, He Said.” (Dale Eisman, “In Letter, Kaine Urges Slowing Plans To Drill,” The Virginian-Pilot [Norfolk, Virginia], 2/25/09)
“Anyone Surprised? Anyone? At All? – Kaine Backs Obama On Keystone”
Headline: “Anyone Surprised? Anyone? At All? – Kaine Backs Obama On Keystone, Both Dems Hit By Allen.” (“Anyone Surprised? Anyone? At All?” National Journal Hotline, 1/19/12)
Kaine Echoed Obama On Keystone Decision. “But Kaine’s campaign issued a statement of its own Wednesday afternoon, largely echoing the Obama administration’s position – and assigning some blame to the GOP for the whole controversy.” (Ben Pershing, “Keystone Decision Ripples In Kaine-Allen Race,” The Washington Post, 1/18/12)
The XL Pipeline Is A Shovel-Ready Project
“The Plan Would Be To Immediately Begin Construction After Receiving A Presidential Permit And Then To Begin Operating The $7 Billion, 1,700-Mile Pipeline In 2013.” (Dan Berman and Darren Goode, “Obama Punts Keystone XL Pipeline,” Politico, 11/10/11)
“Obama Punts On More Than 20,000 Shovel-Ready Jobs.” (Editorial, “Keystone Cop-Out,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/11)