By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs
PHCC of Virginia leaders visited the state Capitol in Richmond on Feb. 17 to urge state senators to support passage of House Bill 1257, a bill preventing local governments and municipalities in the Commonwealth from banning natural gas connections in new construction.
House Bill 1257 would preempt the type of activity we’ve witnessed in New York City and other localities across the country taking a short-sighted approach to decarbonizing the energy grid by banning natural gas. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R-VA), the bill was introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates at the beginning of the 2022 session of the Virginia State Legislature.
HB1257 passed the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this month on Feb. 14, and will be debated in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. If it passes Committee, it goes to the Senate floor where passage ensures a signature from newly elected Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Board members from PHCC of Virginia met personally with state senators and staff with committee jurisdiction over HB1257 to implore them to support the bill and send it to the Senate floor or a final up or down vote.
Prior to House passage of the bill, PHCC of Virginia Chairman Butch McGonegal (pictured above) testified before the Virginia House of Delegates on Feb. 3 with a compelling argument in support of HB1257. You can view archived footage here and scroll to 6:03:43PM on the video to see McGonegal’s testimony.
Over one million Virginia households depend on natural gas, in addition to over 100,000 businesses and nearly 1,000 industrial facilities. The prohibition on gas connections in new construction embodied by HB1257 extends to propane connections as well, recognizing the 130,000+ households in predominantly rural Virginia communities where propane is a source of home energy needs.
Director of Legislative Affairs , PHCC-National Association