Governor Kaine Announces Renew Virginia Initiative
-Creates interagency task force and marketing plan to attract green jobs-
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today kicked off his Renew Virginia initiative, which will include legislative and executive actions to make Virginia a leader in energy conservation and efficiency and protecting the environment. The Governor met with his economic development team and energy-related business owners at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to discuss strategies for attracting renewable energy companies to the Commonwealth, and unveiled plans to form an interagency task force and create an energy marketing plan to attract green jobs to the Commonwealth.
"In today's economy, we can turn our energy challenges into an opportunity," Governor Kaine said. "Our goal is to position the Commonwealth as a leader in alternative energy generation, energy conservation, and research and development. By developing a green energy industry here, we will not only move towards a more environmentally responsible approach to addressing our growing energy needs, but we will also help stimulate Virginia's economy."
As part of the Renew Virginia initiative, the Governor announced the following actions:
Under the leadership of Secretary of Commerce and trade Patrick O. Gottschalk, an Interagency Task Force for Energy Project Recruitment will work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to build Virginia's compelling case for renewable energy-related businesses. The task force will include state agencies, university research centers, and federal laboratories based in Virginia.
The Governor has tasked VEDP with assembling an aggressive marketing plan for promoting Virginia's business case for new investments and employement generating projects in renewable energy production and energy efficiency projects.
The Governor's 2009 legislative package, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks, will improve energy conservation, encourage green businesses to relocate to the Commonwealth, and help create a customer base for those already present.
Through his roles as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council and of the Southern Governor's Association, Governor Kaine has pledged to work for more aggressive policies for Bay cleanup, and to create a dialogue within the Southern States on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how our natural resources can be an asset for the nation in the area of energy independence.