This month Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order to create an energy council tasked with assisting in the development of a comprehensive energy strategy for Virginia. In his announcement, the governor stressed the need for an aggressive analysis that puts Virginia in the position of being a leader in “new energy technologies.”
The results of this analysis will be compiled in the Virginia Energy Plan, a document that state law mandates be rewritten every four years and is due October 1. For those of us who would like to see robust investment in efficiency, wind and solar power as part of those new energy technologies, the task before us clear: make sure the Energy Council hears from us at every opportunity.
Gov. McAuliffe ran on a clean energy jobs platform, and now is the time to make sure that those same ideas are reflected in the plan as it will set the tone on energy policy for the rest of his term. Now is a critical moment to seize that opportunity.
The Energy Council is hosting listening sessions across the state to collect input from citizens on the Energy Plan. The format of these sessions will begin with a 15-minute informational presentation by an expert on a particular topic related to the plan. Citizens will then have time to comment, taking up to three minutes each. Arrive early to sign up to reserve your place on the speakers list.
The schedule for the sessions is:
- Tuesday, June 17, 6 pm, Presentation by LEAP on Energy Efficiency R&D, Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA
- Thursday, June 19, 6 pm, Presentation on Energy Infrastructure and Efficiency, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, 820 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA
- Tuesday, June 24, 6 pm, Presentation on Energy Efficiency and Coal as a Source, Virginia Highlands Community College, 100 VHCC Drive, Building ISC, Abingdon, VA
- Thursday, June 26, 6 pm, Presentation on Offshore Wind Power and Economic Development, Old Dominion University, Bluestone Avenue and 49th Street, Norfolk, VA
- Tuesday, July 1, 6 pm, Presentation on Advanced Vehicle Technology and Alternative Fuels, James Madison University, 127 West Bruce Street, Harrisonburg, VA
Public involvement will be critical in making sure that the upcoming Energy Plan guides Virginia away from a dependence on fossil fuel and toward a cleaner energy economy.
Can’t make it to any of these session in person? Send in your comment on Virginia’s energy direction here!