American Promise signs onto the NOVA grassroots coalition letter calling for a ban on campaign contributions from public service corporations. #Neededlegislation #campaignfinance
Nancy Morgan, American Promise
Dear Senator [name],
One of the top issues of the Virginia Grassroots Coalition is addressing climate change – an existential threat to the Commonwealth. Accordingly, we expect our legislators to pass laws that will protect our coastal communities from catastrophic flooding, significantly increase clean energy (zero carbon) and energy efficiency, remove legislative barriers to distributed solar, and improve regulatory oversight over Dominion Energy and APCo. We cannot get there without passing a bill banning campaign contributions from public service corporations.
We are deeply distressed that you voted against SB25 that would have prohibited public service corporations, such as Dominion Energy, from contributing to legislators.
● It is a conflict of interest for Dominion Energy (and APCo) to make unlimited contributions to legislators who pass laws that regulate these corporations which, as monopolies, face no competition.
● The General Assembly has a long history of passing laws guaranteeing Dominion high profits while failing to (1) require mandatory improvements in energy efficiency or renewable energy and (2) lower the bills of rate-payers. For example, the 2015 Rate Freeze law froze base electricity rates at artificially high prices through 2021 resulting in Dominion overcharging Virginians by $1 billion. The 2018 so called Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 allowed Dominion to keep excess profits and plow them into grid modernization projects of Dominion’s choosing with little or no regulatory approval. Shockingly, this law does not legally require the construction of new wind or solar programs.
● Virginians have the 7th highest electricity bills and the Commonwealth ranks 48th in energy efficiency of all states. Dominion is ranked 50th of 51 major utility providers in the country in energy efficiency.
The public optics are not confidence-inspiring to the growing numbers of Virginians concerned about Dominion's actions and the climate crisis. Dominion has a laser like focus on profits for shareholders - not the best interests of the citizens of Virginia. That's the job of the General Assembly.
Finally, we note that 22 states already ban all corporate contributions to candidates which have been ruled Constitutional. Several states ban money from regulated utility monopolies including New York and New Jersey.
Leader, Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Sharon Shutler and Chris LeMenestrel
Co-chairs, Climate and Clean Energy Working Group, Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Stair Calhoun and Katherine White
Network NoVA Women’s Summit
The grassroots groups that endorse this letter are:
Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Virginia Democracy Forward (VADF)
Indivisible Below the Beltway
Herndon Reston Indivisible
We of Action (WofA)
NOVA Climate Coalition
Greater Prince William Climate Action Network
Virginia Justice Democrats
Hunter Mill Huddle
Our Revolution Falls Church
Progressive Democrats of America - Virginia
Indivisible Virginia 11
The Green New Deal VA
Earth Rise Indivisible
The Climate Reality Project, NOVA Chapter
Indivisible Northern Virginia
Food and Water Action Virginia
American Promise VA Chapter
Lewinsville Faith in Action
Indivisible Nova West