FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cassady Craighill, Clean Virginia Deputy Director
October 3, 2022
In response to the Virginia Energy Plan released by Governor Youngkin today, Clean Virginia’s Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said:
After years of inaction in which Virginia’s utilities actively denied climate change while promoting fossil fuels and blocking clean energy solutions, Virginia has leapt forward during the past few years with the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Clean Cars Act, and membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Collectively, this legislation has put the Commonwealth on a path to a future free of harmful emissions. While the Governor’s plan rightly sounds the alarm about unsustainable energy costs for Virginian families, the transition to clean energy is not the culprit. Clean Virginia will, along with our partners, defend the progress Virginia has made towards a clean energy future.
What Governor Youngkin’s plan gets right is that Virginia’s monopoly utilities have, through years of political contributions, lobbying and influence operations, been in the driver’s seat of our energy policy while successfully transferring Virginians’ hard-earned money to their shareholders and executives. It is this systemic problem – regulatory capture by monopoly utilities – that has resulted in Virginians paying some of the highest electricity bills in the country. By calling for a return to proper regulatory rate structure the Governor has shown leadership and vision and sent a clear signal that this ill-gotten arrangement must end. While Democrats and Republicans will undoubtedly face-off over many provisions of today’s plan, ending the profiteering by our monopoly utilities at the expense of Virginia families is one thing that both parties can and have agreed on. In fact, similar provisions restoring regulatory rate-setting authority to the State Corporation Commission and cleaning up utility-friendly provisions of our code passed the Virginia House of Delegates with 77 bipartisan votes in 2020 before a handful of Senators who collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company killed the bill in a key committee.
Clean Virginia looks forward to working with the Youngkin Administration on these aspects of the Virginia Energy Plan, while continuing to staunchly defend the progress Virginia has made on transitioning to a clean energy future.
Clean Virginia is a 501(c)4 independent advocacy organization with an associated Political Action Committee, Clean Virginia Fund. Clean Virginia works to fight corruption in Virginia politics in order to promote clean energy, a robust, competitive economy, and community control over our energy policy. We are motivated by the core belief that our democracy should serve everyday Virginians over special interests.