Dick Saslaw Votes Repeatedly Against The Environment

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yesterday was a day that has me wondering why I bother fighting for "Democrats" in this state. This is truly infuriating.

The first thing that happened was a 11-3 vote against Sen. Donald McEachin's energy efficiency bill, SB 71. This bill would have required "each electric utility to implement a portfolio of cost-effective electric utility energy efficiency programs that will reduce the consumption of electric energy by its retail customers by 0.3 percent of the forecast consumption for 2011, 3.9 percent of the forecast consumption for 2015, and 12.2 percent of the forecast consumption for 2022." Note that last figure, as SB 71 is actually a watered-down version of Sen. McEachin's 2009 energy efficiency bill, which had the 19% mandate which Tim Kaine's climate commission had recommended. This year, Sen. McEachin only put in 12%, but it was still rejected. Now, I could understand flat-earth, anti-environment Republicans opposing such a no-brainer, win-win bill. But what about Democrats like Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, Chuck Colgan, Yvonne Miller, John Edwards, Toddy Puller and Phil Puckett? What the hell is going on here?

As if that's not bad enough, we also had a mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard bill by Mary Margaret Whipple, SB 450, that was "passed by indefinitely" in the Senate Commerce and Labor committee. Voting to "pass it by" - kill it, in other words - were, once again, Democrats Dick Saslaw and Phil Puckett. However heinous their vote against Sen. McEachin's bill was, this one was truly outrageous. As Mary Margaret Whipple pointed out in her bill description, "[u]nder current law, the renewable energy portfolio standard program is a voluntary program." Voluntary? By Dominion "Global Warming Starts Here" Power? Yeah, right, that's going to work out really well! (snark) Currently, 27 states have Renewable Portfolio Standards, with 23 of those being mandatory. On the one hand, at least we have an RPS in Virginia. On the other hand, why wouldn't Democrats, including the guy we all worked so hard to make Senate Majority Leader, vote for an utterly non-controversial, no-brainer mandatory standard like 23 other states?

The bottom line is that these votes, particularly on Mary Margaret Whipple's bill, are inexcusable coming from the State Senate Majority Leader (note that Saslaw is a good friend of Whipple's; I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies!). Apparently, the way it works in Saslaw's Senate, we get a small victory one day (non-discrimination, that is until it's killed by flat-earth Republicans in the House), then the same day we watch as Democrats can't even support one decent energy efficiency/clean energy bill. I mean, I knew that Dick Saslaw was no friend of energy security, green jobs or the environment, but now that Democrats ostensibly "control" the State Senate, this is utterly unforgivable.

P.S. I'm sure the fact that Dick "Dick" Saslaw has received $125,508 over the years from Dominion "Global Warming and Energy Insecurity Start Here" Power has nothing to do with his votes yesterday. Nope, nothing at all (rolls eyes).

P.P.S. Thanks to Mark Herring, Creigh Deeds, and of course Donald McEachin, all of whom voted for SB 71 and against "passing by" (aka, "killing") SB 450.