It’s no secret that states produce a lot more legislation than Congress. Federal lawmakers passed 352 bills and resolutions in the last session. In the states, that count topped 45,000.
What are the issues that are driving all that productivity? That’s what CQ Roll Call’s 50 State Project was designed to find out.
Along with Dave Ress and Travis Fain of the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), I contributed to a list of the top issues facing Virginia. The full list, which includes not only Virginia but the other 49 states, is available for download at CQ/Roll Call. It’s free but CQ Roll Call asks for some information in return.
Here’s a sample including my take on Virginia’s energy issues:
ENERGY: What’s the Right Balance?
Virginia’s central location on the East Coast has presented it with a series of energy quandaries. President Obama has proposed opening the coast from Virginia to Georgia for offshore drilling. Virginia also sits along the path between the Marcellus and Utica shale formations—where there’s now a surplus of natural gas thanks to hydraulic fracturing technology—and a massive potential market in the Southeast. No fewer than three natural gas transmission pipelines have been proposed to connect the two. The proposals have been welcomed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a bevy of state lawmakers, but they’ve also fired up landowners along the routes and created a political issue. Throw in questions over whether to remove a moratorium on uranium mining; the push to cut carbon emissions, which sparked argument over a tax credit for miners and regulatory changes to ease the closing of coal-fired plants; and last year’s derailment of an oil train that spilled into the James River, and policymakers face a dizzying array of energy questions.
For more, go to CQ Roll Call’s “50 State Project” page or use #statenews on Twitter.