From Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Rip Sullivan:
McClellan and Sullivan Urge Dominion to Adhere to the Intent of the Virginia Clean Economy Act
Today, Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax) – the patrons of the Virginia Clean Economy Act – released the following statement regarding Dominion’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
“The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) is a historic step to revitalize Virginia’s economy with thousands of clean energy jobs, while fighting climate change and ending our reliance on fossil fuels. We drafted this legislation to transition Virginia to 100 percent clean energy while investing in energy efficiency and job growth for the 21st century economy.
“The VCEA requires Virginia utilities to step up to the plate and be active leaders in carbon reduction. Dominion Energy’s IRP is tantamount to quitting the game before the first pitch is thrown. The law sets clear benchmarks for Virginia to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2045, not for utilities to plan to import carbon-polluting energy from West Virginia or Kentucky.
“In September 2019, Dominion responded to Governor Northam’s 100 percent clean energy by 2050 executive order with a simple statement: “Challenge accepted.” Dominion was subsequently an active participant in the countless hours of detailed discussions about this bill. It knew all about the benchmarks the VCEA requires. As the legislators who wrote Governor Northam’s goals into law, we urge Dominion to follow through on its previous public commitment – not attempt to run from it.
“Other utilities have risen to the challenge such as Xcel in Minnesota, Consumers Energy in Michigan, and Eversource in Massachusetts, and Dominion should follow suit and further expand its investment in clean energy deployment and energy efficiency. Dominion’s IRP underutilizes energy efficiency and underestimates its cost effectiveness, leading to an overestimate in the cost to Virginia ratepayers who are already paying the price for the economic impacts of climate change.
“Energy efficiency is also the largest source of jobs in the clean energy sector. By underinvesting in this clean, affordable resource, Dominion is not only needlessly inflating costs, it is shortchanging Virginia’s economy and workers. Rejecting energy efficiency efforts will result in ratepayers getting higher bills without the intended climate or economic development benefits the VCEA intended to achieve.
“Virginians need Dominion to respect and adhere to the intent of this landmark legislation to grow clean energy jobs and stop the worst impacts of climate change from further harming Virginia’s economy.”