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VA Congressman Pushes Senate Colleagues to Pass Renewable Energy Bill

October 22, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. - Supporters of climate change legislation currently before the U.S. Senate are looking for enough Republican support to make the measure filibuster-proof. The Senate bill will go hand-in-hand with similar legislation already passed in the House.

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D-8th District), spoke in northern Virginia recently about how the Commonwealth could do more to generate clean energy.

"In Virginia alone, we could be generating a third of the energy that we use in the Commonwealth now by clean, renewable energy sources."

Supporters of the bill say they need 60 votes from some combination of Democrats and Republicans to ensure the Senate bill can overcome an expected Republican filibuster. The bill received a bipartisan boost recently when it gained the support of powerful Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Virginia Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner, both Democrats, have not yet announced their intentions on the legislation.

A decision by the Bush Administration that allowed increased offshore oil and gas drilling in America put Virginia's coastline into play for developers. Moran says a better use of the Commonwealth's offshore energy resources would be to harness wind power.

"Instead of trying to drill oil and gas offshore - which will devastate Chesapeake Bay and the shoreline, not to mention the tourist economy in places like Virginia Beach - we could put windmills out of sight, out in the water."

The Senate bill is the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, more commonly known as the Kerry-Boxer Bill.

Aries Keck/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - VA