Environmental quality has improved since last publication in 2017

RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia Energy Consumer Trust (“The Trust”), in collaboration with the Virginia Manufacturers Association, published the 2021 Virginia Natural Resources Scorecard. Using scientific data from reliable government sources, the 2021 Scorecard indicates that Virginia’s air and water quality are excellent and improving. Energy consumption is declining but rising energy costs are concerning. Solid waste and recycling are nearly unchanged and require attention. View the 2021 Virginia Natural Resources Scorecard here: vaenergyconsumer.com/reports.

The 2021 Scorecard aims to fill a data gap in environmental policy development. Environmental activists have established a false binary choice between environmental stewardship or economic strength. This binary choice too often involves minimal empirical measurements of pollution, relies upon pollution “modeling,” and never considers “energy justice” – defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of every consumer by ratepayer class, regardless of race, color, national origin, income, faith, or disability, regarding the affordability, reliability, security, and sustainability of energy laws, regulations, or policies.

This data will help all Virginians better understand that the Commonwealth has been a leader in environmental protection and energy consumption reduction for decades. The data also reveals opportunities for improvement, so that policymakers can make informed decisions about regulatory and public priorities.

The Council on Virginia’s Future published the Virginia Natural Resources Scorecard until 2017 (see archived 2017 Virginia Natural Resources Scorecard here –  vaperforms.virginia.gov/NaturalResources_summary.cfm).  The Council began measuring the Commonwealth’s Air Quality, Energy, Historic Resources, Land Preservation, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Water Quality, and assessed Virginia’s year-over-year performance. The 2021 Virginia Natural Resources Scorecard continues that work except for in Historic Resources and Land Preservation. However, researchers added energy costs and aggregated environmental comparisons against Northeast, Southern, and West Coast states, and the U.S., where available.

The Trust would like to recognize The Council on Virginia’s Future; Dr. Fletcher Mangum and Alexander Nikolov, Mangum Economics; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; and Virginia Manufacturers Association for their research and writing contributions to this publication.

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About The Trust

Virginia Energy Consumer Trust (The Trust) was established to amplify the voice of energy consumers living and working in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Trust is charting a new path forward toward energy justice where the principles of reliable, affordable, secure, and sustainable energy are equally assured for all Virginian consumers. For more about the Trust, please visit vaenergyconsumer.com.

About Virginia Manufacturers Association

The Virginia Manufacturers Association develops and advocates for constructive public policies and supports a broad array of business services and programs to help ensure that Virginia manufacturing companies can be productive, profitable, and competitive in Virginia. Virginia’s 6,000+ manufacturers employ over 230,000 individuals, contribute $34 billion to the gross state product, and account for over 80% of the state’s exports to the global economy. For more about the VMA, please visit vamanufacturers.com.

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