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State Senator Proposes Reevaluating Virginia's Data Center Industry

Virginia Senator Chap Petersen-D of Fairfax sent Joint Resolution No. 240 to the Committee on Rules, today, requesting Virginia departments to study the impacts of data centers on Virginia’s energy usage, environment, economy, energy resources and ability to meet its carbon-reduction goals. This comes at a time when a portion of the citizens has lost their appetite for building new data centers. Virginia has offered the data center industry tax incentives for over a decade but that could change depending on what legislators see in the data.


Prince William Del. Danica Roem-D presented the resolution to the Virginia House of Delegates...


...Virginia has provided significant tax incentives for data centers for over a decade but has yet to see a return on that investment. The Commonwealth received 72 cents on the dollar, costing Virginia $138 million in 2020 and a total of $830 million from 2010 to 2020.


Economically, Petersen questions whether the incentive makes sense. Data centers bring few jobs to a region and the industry has only benefited Northern Virginia. But Northern Virginians have become increasingly unhappy with the proliferation of data centers and the representatives who embrace them.


“Northern Virginia localities have seen an increase in conflicts over the siting of new data centers and associated transmission lines, including concerns about impacts to air and water quality, wildlife, noise, loss of farmland, and negative impacts on parks and Civil War battlefields,” Petersen wrote in the resolution...


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