Virginia GOP Gov. Nominee Glenn Youngkin Supports an “All-of-the-Above” Approach to Energy, Emphasizing Growth in Renewables
The Republican Party of Virginia held an unassembled convention on Saturday, May 6th and nominated businessman Glenn Youngkin to represent the party in the November general election for governor. Youngkin, 54, served as co-chief executive of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most diversified global investment firms with 29 offices across five continents. At Carlyle, Youngkin embraced the economic benefits of an all-of-the-above approach to energy that emphasizes a growing reliance on renewable energy.
In a 2019 interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, Youngkin talked about his views on energy production:
“I think what has happened over the last few years is the economic reality of renewables has settled in. What I mean by that is they have come way down the cost curve and so literally on a power production basis it is wildly competitive with competitive fuel sources, and so that is enabling wind and solar to compete on its own… the economic reality coupled with the clear political momentum for renewables in our mind makes renewables a very good place to invest over a very long time. If global energy consumption… continues to grow at 1.5 to 2%, all forms – other than in our view coal – will grow. It just so happens that wind and solar will grow at 10x the rate of oil and natural gas.”
Youngkin emphasized the cost competitiveness of renewable energy today, and expressed his belief that they no longer require government subsidies to compete with other sources of energy but instead need long term contracts. He explained that as the cost curve has changed, developers now simply need a long term contract in order to make the investments up front and earn a reasonable return.
Lastly, Youngkin spoke about how his company demonstrated leadership with regard to sustainability and demonstrated the economic benefits of doing so.
“Market forces have in fact drawn companies into being much more efficient, to reporting their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) initiatives and actually trying to show that they’re responsible corporate citizens without a government having to force them to do it… Carlyle actually went carbon neutral as a company last year. We did that because it’s the right thing to do, but we also did that to show that we believe taking ESG principles into a primary investment mode isn’t just a good thing to do but you can in fact economically have better outcomes… we have been able to increase the level of ESG responsible indicators and as a result we have better economic outcomes. End consumers want to buy products from companies that in fact take these things not only into consideration but make them a priority. That increases value, and that is good for an investor.”
Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Jennifer McClellan, Jennifer Carroll Foy, Justin Fairfax and Lee Carter will all compete for their party’s gubernatorial nomination in a June 8th primary.