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Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Major Player in VA Solar Expansion Under United Nations' Scrutiny


Wednesday, April 29, 2020   

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's new Clean Economy Act is paving the way for a burst of solar installations in the Commonwealth. But the United Nations has designated one of the solar providers as a human-rights violator.

Caden-Energix plans to build eight solar installations in Virginia worth a half-billion dollars, according to Grant Smith, research director for the Institute for Research on Middle East Policy. He said the company recently appeared on a list from the U.N. high commissioner for human rights for using its solar resources in occupied Palestinian territory for foreign gain.

"The surrounding community has been deprived of these resources," he said. "They're not allowed to even operate their own solar energy. They can't even buy solar energy from this Energix solar field, which was built on their land."

He said no city or town in Virginia where Energix is building had been made aware of the company's overseas background. Energix officials did not respond by deadline to a request for comment.

Energix projects have been advanced in the Commonwealth by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. The group is a state-funded council with close ties to the General Assembly that exclusively promotes Israeli economic and education projects in Virginia, to advance the Israeli government's policy agenda.

"The Virginia Israel Advisory Board is the only -- the only -- state taxpayer-funded government entity that is 100% focused on bringing Israeli companies into the states," he said. "There's nothing like it anywhere in the United States; that made it unique."

A 2017 report found that Energix's Jordan Valley site on occupied land has left nearby Palestinian villages suffering from forcible displacement, demolitions and lack of basic services.

The text of the Virginia Clean Economy Act is online at, the U.N. Report on Human Rights is at, a map of Energix sites in Virginia is at, and the "Who Profits" 2017 report is at

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