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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
 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pnkGuivLfB_QmTYnItPOaLtX99yFjDIz/view

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.

  1. Should the House vote in favor of HB111, the companion bill to SB25, we expect you to support this bill at cross over.
  2. We’d like to discuss the depth of our concerns and will call your office to set up a meeting.

 

  1. Finally, we include a document debunking myths propagated by Dominion about renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Luisa Boyarski

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)

Network NoVA

Indivisible Below the Beltway

Herndon Reston Indivisible

Postcards4VA

We of Action (WofA)

NOVA Grassroots

Indivisible Arlington

NOVA Climate Coalition

350 Loudoun

350 Alexandria

350 Fairfax

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

Sustainable Roanoke

NOVA Climate

Food and Water Action Virginia

American Promise VA Chapter

Lewinsville Faith in Action

Indivisible Nova West