U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine unveiled his comprehensive energy policy Tuesday which includes support for alternative energy sources like wind and solar to "clean coal" technology and drilling for natural gas and oil off Virginia's coast.
Kaine, who is running against Republican candidate and former U.S. Sen. and Gov. George Allen to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb, said in his policy statement that he has "long advocated a true all-of-the-above energy approach that utilizes all native sources while transitioning to the clean energy alternatives that are already powering the future, like wind and solar."
“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,” Kaine said in the press release touting his "Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation" policy plan.. “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.”
In the plan Kaine said he will work to expand programs that promote energy efficiency through consumer education as well as support modernization of "homes, schools and municipal buildings" to make them more energy efficient.
He also said he would support developing both off-shore and land-based wind farms in Virginia and support "efforts to increase the competitiveness of American companies and innovators in solar energy."
While he would like to end subsidies for what he calls "inefficient corn-based fuels," Kaine would like to promote the use of biofuels and biomass industries to supplement fossil fuels.
Kaine said within Virginia he would like to support "clean coal technology that is both environmentally and business friendly."
The former governor said he disagrees with the federal plan that keeps the state from developing off-shore oil and natural gas development on the continental shelf and supports legislation sponsored by U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Webb that allows for off-shore drilling. But he said he also wants to "implement commonsense reforms" that will prevent oil spills like the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico that had devastating effects on the Gulf Coast.
The Republican Party of Virginia responded to Kaine's energy policy by calling it a new found conversion. State GOP lawmakers say that Kaine's support for "Cap and Trade" energy tax and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would "decimate the Virginia Coal Energy, " and also criticized Kaine for agreeing with President Barack Obama's decision earlier this year to reject the Keystone Pipeline project.
"Tim Kaine has had a curious election year conversion," said Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach. "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."