"While the words are on the page, what is it that would cause action where Virginia would positively move toward adoption of renewables?" asked Plum, D-Fairfax County.
But Russell said utilities "still have a reason to engage in renewables" because they'd still be entitled to recover the costs associated with meeting the state's goals.
Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, is carrying the legislation in the House of Delegates; several senators will carry portions of the proposed changes, officials said.
Several environmental groups gathered after the meeting to express concerns about the agreement between the attorney general's office and power companies and called for lawmakers to fix the portion of the law, rather than repeal it. They were joined by Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, who has introduced a bill to change the qualifications for utilities to receive the incentives, focusing on renewable energy sources in the state.
"Virginia has done a pretty bad job of focusing on the environment for decades," Lopez said. "Republicans or Democrat, you're either an environmentalist who cares about the future of this planet, who cares about the future of the commonwealth, or you're not."
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.