Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Delegate Keam's Legislation featured in Sun Gazette

Gov. McDonnell signs several clean-energy bills at Old Dominion University, as legislators and members of his administration look on. (Photo by Michael White)

Governor Signs Energy Legislation Patroned by Local Assembly Members

by SCOTT McCAFFREY, Staff Writer (Created: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 6:58 AM EDT)

Gov. McDonnell has signed several pieces of "green-energy" legislation, including ones that were patroned by state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) and Del. Mark Keam (D-35th).

McDonnell traveled to Old Dominion University for a bill-signing ceremony, where he praised the efforts of legislators in both parties involved in crafting legislation to address energy issues.

"All the bills signed today represent bipartisan cooperation in the effort to bring green energy innovation and generation to the Commonwealth," McDonnell said at the April 2 event. "Working across party lines, we are making Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast."

Among the legislation McDonnell signed into law was a measure giving businesses a $500 tax credit for the creation of "green jobs." Keam was among a number of delegates whose bills were incorporated into the green-jobs measure signed by the governor.

Another measure that was signed into law, patroned by Petersen, allows localities greater flexibility in securing loans for the acquisition and installation of clean-energy improvements. A second Petersen bill gives natural-gas utilities greater flexibility in recovering costs associated with improving infrastructure to meet modern standards.

In remarks at the ceremony, McDonnell reiterated his belief that meeting energy challenges requires all sides to find common ground.

"Currently, Virginia is the second largest importer of electricity in America, trailing only California," he said. "We need to take immediate steps to produce more energy right here, and to do so in a comprehensive manner. We need more oil, coal and natural gas, but we also need more wind, solar, biomass and nuclear production, as well."

Other measures that the governor signed into law include creation of a state offshore wind development authority, and creation of a state foundation to fund research and development for clean-energy technology at Virginia's colleges and universities.

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