Republican governor Bob McDonnell took office in 2010 thanks to support from the Tea Party. McDonnell has an ingenious strategy to maintain the support of his base and attract green jobs. He has called for building more coal plants, drilling for offshore oil, increasing nuclear power and exploiting natural gas reserves. He also wants to see more offshore wind turbines and larger numbers of electric cars.
For obvious political reasons, McDonnell chooses to look at energy through the lens of national security. This allows him the latitude to explore green energy solutions without alienating him from his base.
According to an NGA report, McDonnell enacted five clean energy policies, including a green jobs tax credit. Virginia gives employers in the solar, biomass and geothermal industries a $2,500 tax break for each green job that pays $50,000 or more. Under McDonnell, the state has also allotted $36 million in grants for renewable energy manufacturers.
McDonnell demonstrates the regardless of ideological affiliations, the economic benefits of the green economy are hard to ignore.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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