New Federal Law Will Mean Major Investments in Clean Energy, and Lower Health Care Costs for Virginians
RICHMOND, VA – Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act:
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge victory for the people of Virginia,” McClellan said. “Thank you to Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Representatives Bobby Scott, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Donald McEachin, Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton for voting in favor of this critical bill. And thank you to President Biden for delivering for the people of Virginia to lower the costs of life-saving drugs, health insurance premiums and clean energy.
“As the chief patron of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, I have seen our Commonwealth move from the bottom of the pack to become a national leader in clean energy. The historic $369 billion dollars of climate investments in this bill can help supercharge Virginia’s clean energy economy, lower our energy costs, and protect our communities from the worst impacts of climate change. The support for domestic manufacturing in this bill can likewise help transform Virginia into the foremost hub for offshore wind manufacturing in America, but only if we move quickly to seize that opportunity. This bill represents a compromise, and we must continue to fight to protect impacted Virginia communities, including those impacted by the ill-conceived Mountain Valley Pipeline proposal. We also must continue to lead at the state level on the transition to 100% clean energy and on the successful RGGI program.
“The Inflation Reduction Act will also help lower the cost of health care for Virginians by bringing down health insurance premiums and allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. I’m proud to have helped expand Medicaid in Virginia and led the passage of the bill that created the state health exchange. This bill will help provide additional savings to Virginians to ensure that more families can afford the health care and medicines that they need. This is a huge win for our area and for Virginia – and now we have important work to do at the state and federal level to implement this historic bill.”
Sen. McClellan and Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) patroned the bills in 2020 that created the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Exchange is in the process of being implemented by the State Corporation Commission. Sen. McClellan also led unanimous Senate passage of 2022 legislation that strengthened navigator services to empower Virginians to pick which plans best fit their unique situations, and help reduce the costs of premiums. Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) carried a companion House bill.
McClellan was the Senate patron of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), which made Virginia the first southern state with a 100 percent clean electricity standard. The VCEA paved the way to the creation of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project off of Virginia Beach, the largest offshore wind project in America. Since the VCEA’s passage in 2020, Virginia has brought in thousands of new clean energy jobs, including 300 offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing jobs coming to the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
McClellan was also the Senate patron of the Solar Freedom Act, a law to increase electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the Pipeline Accountability, Oversight, and Protection of Virginia’s Water Act. McClellan was chief co-patron of the Virginia Clean Car Standard.