Posts Tagged ‘2023 Virginia General Assembly’

Wilt Pursuing Agenda to Lower Costs for Virginians

January 11, 2023

RICHMOND- During the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) is pursuing legislation to ease the financial burden for Virginia families. With the Session officially getting underway Wednesday, Wilt has submitted bills to lower transportation and energy costs as part of his legislative package.

“Inflation remains a major burden for low and middle income Virginians,” Wilt said. “While reckless federal spending is a major culprit, there is still work that can be done at the state level to address the issue and head off future cost increases. It’s time to untie ourselves from the California Clean Cars mandate before Virginians are forced to buy more costly vehicles they may not even want. Not to mention that the auto industry may not even be able to supply vehicles to meet the aggressive timeline of this standard, nor is there the necessary charging infrastructure in place. Electricity costs are also rising and this session I’m working with the Governor to make some reforms to the Clean Economy Act that will grant authority to the SCC to provide a relief valve when it’s determined costs will be excessive or we are risking grid reliability and security to maintain the requirements of the Act.”

The Delegate filed legislation in November to decouple Virginia from the California Advanced Clean Cars emissions standard. In 2021 while under Democrat control, Virginia adopted legislation to follow the California standard which culminates in a prohibition on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. However, in the meantime the mandate begins to kick in for model year 2026 with a requirement that 35% of new vehicles sold be zero emissions vehicles.

On the energy front, the bills the Delegate has filed focus on restoring regulatory authority to the State Corporation Commission to ensure more affordable electricity costs for consumers. HB 2130 allows the Commission to defer clean energy utilization requirements if it is found costs to customers from those requirements will be excessive. It also requires the utilities to petition the Commission for relief from the requirements of the Clean Economy Act related to power plant closures when they believe the required closure poses a threat to grid reliability or security. HB 2267 grants authority to the Commission to determine the best mechanism for utilities to recover costs of generation projects or other grid improvements. This is also intended to have the practical effect of lowering energy bills.

Delegate Wilt has filed additional bills this session to support dairy farmers, the industrial hemp industry, and a bill to ensure sex offenders that committed serious crimes against minors are not able to work in or access schools, among other legislation.