The May 7 ransomeware attack on Colonial Pipeline reveals challenges not only to the US cyber defenses but also to the vulnerability of our energy system. A centralized system for delivering fossil fuels, generating electricity, and for distributing electricity is not secure. This ransomeware attack reveals just one of many potential weaknesses.

A distributed energy system, on the other hand, is much more secure. Rooftop solar panels on homes and business plus battery storage is a more reliable and secure way to power our homes and businesses. Electric vehicles will eliminate long lines at gas stations. The technology exists. Prices are coming down. Electrification must be supported. The Clean Cars Act adopted in the last session of the Virginia General Assembly goes a long way towards electrifying transportation and qualifying Virginia for federal funding programs. Already, as part of the Volkswagon Settlement, there are funding opportunities in VA to electrify school buses and government fleets and install public charging stations.

On May 10, Governor Ralph Northam announced more than $9.4 million in Clean Air Communities Program awards to fund five government fleet electrification projects. While Loudoun was not in the first round of awards, the second-round webinar for potential applicants is starting on May 17, 2021. Details are on the Department of Environmental Quality website: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/get-involved/topics-of-interest/volkswagen-settlement-agreement The second round includes school bus electrification grants.

Loudoun must take advantage of these opportunities to build a cleaner and more resilient community prepared for a changing climate.

Natalie Pien

Leesburg

(2) comments

jke

It is twice as cheap to mine new lithium than it is to recycle old electric car batteries for the ecology minded amongst us. Only the government has the money to run a fleet of electric vehicles because they drain the taxpayers for the funds. People drive fewer miles in China but the USA driving profile does not support electrical cars as friendly economically or ecology-wise. A woke idea with more poor return.

jke

Ever notice how it the gubermint with never ending money that waste money on early generation projects that sound good but, look at a lithium mining site and then lets here from the writer.

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