Author Archives: Jim Bacon

About Jim Bacon

James A. Bacon is the author of “Boomergeddon” and publishes the Bacon’s Rebellion blog at www.

The Energy-Efficiency Option

When Virginians contemplate their energy future, they have two broad options for accommodating a growing population and economy: generate more electricity (increase supply) and conserve electricity (reduce demand). The debate over the supply side of the equation gets most of the attention — what’s the best mix of nuclear, gas, coal and renewable energy sources? Energy efficiency gets less ink. But  investments in energy efficiency, say environmentalists, can not only reduce the pollution and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with electricity generation, they can effectively pay for themselves by obviating the need to build expensive power plants in the future.

That’s a great theory. How’s it working out?

From a public policy perspective, Virginia has lots of leeway to become more energy efficient. Continue reading

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Virginia Could Get Its Own Clean Power Plan

Terry McAuliffe’s days as governor of Virginia are rapidly drawing to a close, but proposed carbon-dioxide regulations working through the administrative process could prove to be his most lasting legacy. If adopted, the rule would cap carbon emissions at large … Continue reading

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How to Build Strong, Resilient Cities and Towns

Cities and counties across the United States are experiencing chronic fiscal stress, and the reason has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats and everything to do with what Chuck Marohn calls the “growth Ponzi scheme.” “Why are cities going … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Local Government | 1 Comment

Scrap the SOL’s and Move On

( This article is responded to by John Butcher in the next column.) Maybe it’s time for Virginia to scrap the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. The SOLs arose in the mid-1990s as a way to provide feedback to the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

Do Remedial College Classes Need Reform? In Virginia, Probably Not

How do you handle a situation when a student is admitted to a college but isn’t academically prepared to do the work? Traditionally, colleges and community colleges have required students who fail basic readiness tests to take remedial courses. Nationally, … Continue reading

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