HJ656: Virginia Resources Authority; transitioning Virginia's workforce.


Offered January 9, 2019
Prefiled January 8, 2019
Requesting the Virginia Resources Authority to study the process of transitioning Virginia's workforce from fossil fuel-based jobs to green energy jobs. Report.
Patron-- Delaney

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae, and geothermal heat; and

WHEREAS, green energy resources are renewable, which means that the source of the energy is not depleted when it is used to generate the energy; and

WHEREAS, by contrast, fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal, are finite resources that take millions of years to develop and continue to diminish with usage; and

WHEREAS, fossil fuel also harms the environment by causing pollution and contributing to greenhouse gases through the carbon dioxide that is released into the air when fossil fuels are burned; and

WHEREAS, increased awareness of the disadvantages to using fossil fuels has motivated many jurisdictions to seek ways to increase the use of green energy sources; and

WHEREAS, the move to increase the use of green energy has in turn markedly increased the number of green energy-related jobs while the number of fossil fuel-related jobs is decreasing; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to ensure that the Commonwealth's workforce is in a position to benefit from this increase in green energy-related jobs; and

WHEREAS, it is important to evaluate both the cost and any barriers, regulatory or otherwise, to transitioning the Commonwealth's workforce from fossil fuel-based jobs to green energy jobs; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Virginia Resources Authority be requested to study the transition of the Commonwealth's workforce from fossil fuel-based jobs to green energy jobs. The study should specifically consider the cost of and barriers that may be associated with such a transition.

In conducting its study, the Virginia Resources Authority shall (i) review the status of job creation for both green energy and fossil fuel-related jobs and any trends regarding such jobs; (ii) the cost associated with transitioning the current workforce, including retraining and education; and (iii) the existence of any barriers preventing or hindering such transition.

Technical assistance shall be provided to the Virginia Resources Authority by the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Board of Workforce Development, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Virginia Resources Authority for this study, upon request.

The Virginia Resources Authority shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2019, and shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an executive summary and a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports no later than the first day of the 2020 Regular Session of the General Assembly and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.