Lt. Gov. Bolling Looks to Energize Virginia
By Scott Wyant
RICHMOND, Va. -- Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling says he believes Virginia will lead the charge on the East Coast for all things energy.
Addressing a few hundred business people at the Virginia Green Jobs Fair, Bolling said he hopes Virginia can become the “East Coast energy capital.”
"More energy means more jobs for Virginia,” Bolling said.
He praised fellow Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s goals of creating more jobs and increasing energy production by using new green technology.
“The way we use energy 10 years from now may be something we’ve never even thought of,” Bolling said. Some ideas may sound far-fetched -- like turning chicken litter into energy.
“Chickens always cooperate,” Bolling told the Green Jobs Fair, the closing event of the Governor’s Conference on Energy.
The state plans to invest heavily in new energy technology and improve the ways it taps existing energy resources, such as coal.
“Natural resources are coming out our ears,” Bolling said. He said Virginia has a “great story to tell” but its officials “just haven’t done a great job telling our story.”
Bolling hopes to change that by being more pro-active in bringing businesses to the commonwealth. Of all the states, he called Virginia the “most pro-business in the nation.”
Virginia plans to offer tax breaks and other incentives to lure businesses. In a perfect world, the government would not have to use incentives; however, Virginia has no choice but to compete with other states, Bolling said.
Bolling added that only 8 percent of Virginia’s business deals are aided by incentives. He hopes to use incentives only on targeted deals that yield high returns. For example, Virginia plans to offer tax credits for enterprises that create green jobs.
Research at Virginia’s institutions of higher education will be essential for the state to accomplish those goals, Bolling said. He said the commonwealth will rely on colleges and universities for “research and development of new and emerging energy.”
Therefore, the government will help fund energy-related research at several universities:
* Old Dominion University, for off-shore wind energy technology
* James Madison University, for on-shore wind energy
Virginia also plans to offer grants to community-college students taking courses or training to become certified in specific energy-related fields. Bolling also plans to implement more university programs in nuclear power, energy engineering and environment management.
'Go Forward; Go Green'
By Scott Wyant
RICHMOND,Va. -- Governments should continue helping environmentally friendly industries even if they are not immediately profitable, business officials said at the Virginia Green Jobs Fair.
"Go forward; go green," said Harry Gregori, president of a consulting firm that helps people find green jobs.
He said Virginia is moving in the right direction by stimulating the green movement. That is a priority of Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican. Democrats, such as President Barack Obama, also support green businesses.
Gregori said that the green jobs transition would not be easy and that it will need a boost from state and national governments.
Niki Rodawig agreed on the importance of the green movement. She works for Aerotek, another recruiting firm.
"It's going to impact America," Rodawig said.
Erin Walden of the Green Economic Alliance also attended the Green Jobs Fair. She said the government is doing its part to promote a greener world by giving financial assistance to "green energy" and other environment-related businesses.
"Everything is moving in a direction where the only thing is to help the environment," Walden said.
Tags: Virginia , Energy , Lieutenant Governor
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