SNP

The Honorable Terry McAuliffe                                                                    January 18, 2016
Governor of Virginia
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Re: An Open Letter to Governor McAuliffe on Clean Energy, Climate Change and Virginia’s
Implementation of the Clean Power Plan

Dear Governor McAuliffe:

In August 2015, the U.S. EPA adopted a “Clean Power Plan” that sets specific goals for the Commonwealth of Virginia and all other states for reducing carbon pollution. With rising seas and extreme weather constituting a growing public health and economic threat to our state and nation, the purpose of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Virginia’s power plants in a way that is fair, flexible and cost-effective.

If implemented correctly, the CPP presents a historic opportunity to reduce the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint, fight climate change and leave a better planet for our children—all while strengthening our economy, creating new business opportunities and saving money for families. Virginians will also see significant health benefits, preventing premature deaths, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and thousands of days lost from school or work due to decreased air pollution as a result of the Clean Power Plan.

In direct conflict with this, Dominion Resources has embraced a compliance approach that, if implemented, means the company would increase – not decrease – harmful carbon emissions from its Virginia power plants. The company wants Virginia to implement the CPP in a way that would not apply to new fossil fuel power plants in Virginia. This would allow Dominion to continue its massive expansion of gas-fired generation at the expense of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Dominion’s plan is fundamentally contrary to the intent and spirit of the President’s Clean Power Plan and the interests of Virginia residents. Dominion Power does not have the authority to decide how to implement the Clean Power Plan in Virginia. By law, that decision falls exclusively to you, our chief executive.

Despite the rhetoric of fossil fuel industries and their political allies, the history of environmental regulation in the U.S. shows that reducing pollution does not hamper economic growth, but in fact spurs innovation and investment. Indeed, the renewable energy sector represents one of the fastest growing segments of our nation’s economy, with growth rates for wind and solar energy consistently in the double digits. As you recognized when you announced plans for the Commonwealth to buy 110 megawatts of solar, these technologies are good for our health, good for taxpayers and good for business.

Virginia can and should reduce its total carbon pollution from power plants at least 30% by the year 2030, by applying the same emissions limit to all plants (existing and new) and increasing our use of energy efficiency and renewable energy. With this strategy, Virginia’s Clean Power Plan will reduce electricity bills and grow our economy, while helping to meet our obligation to future generations.

Never in history has a Virginia governor had greater authority, greater responsibility and a greater opportunity to combat harmful carbon pollution. Numerous polls and surveys show that a majority of your constituents support a swift and meaningful transition to cleaner sources of energy. We implore you to deliver to the people of Virginia a Clean Power Plan that lowers carbon pollution and ensures the health and safety of Virginians for generations to come.

Thank you for your time and leadership in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Walters, Co-Moderator
350 Central Virginia

Natalie Pien, Chair
350 Loudoun

Victoria Bragunier, Policy Director
Alliance for a Progressive Virginia

Katie Huffling, Director of Programs
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Hannah Wiegard, Virginia Campaign Coordinator
Appalachian Voices

Ashleigh Shackelford, Community Organizer
Black Action Now

Mike Tidwell, Executive Director
Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Gregory T Haugan, Sr. PhD, Group Leader
Citizens Climate Lobby, Northern Neck Chapter

Dr. William Nelson, Group Leader
Citizens Climate Lobby, Richmond Chapter

Laura Dansby, Steering Committee Chair
Cathy Strickler, Founder
Climate Action Alliance of the Valley

Rita Frost, Campaign Organizer
Dogwood Alliance

Dave Redding, Director
EcoVillage Charlottesville

Rees Shearer, Chair
Energizing Renewable Growth in Holston Valley (eNRG)

Sarah Bucci, State Director
Environment Virginia

Eric Goplerud, Executive Director
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

Dave Redding, Board Member
Food not Bombs

Heidi Dhivya Berthoud, Secretary
Friends of Buckingham

Olga Torres, President
Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

David Redding, Director
Healthy Food Coalition

Liz Havstad, Director of Operations and Strategic Growth
Hip Hop Caucus

Joelle Novey, Director
Interfaith Power and Light (DC. MD. NoVA)

Kaye Tice, President
League of Women Voters South Hampton Roads

Terra Pascarosa Duff, Manager of Field Operations
Moms Clean Air Force

Freeda Cathcart, Chair
Mothers Against Pipelines

Freeda Cathcart, Chair
Mothers Against Uranium Mining

Quan Williams, Policy Associate
New Virginia Majority

Richard Gajarsky, Partner
Old Dominion Energy Services

David S Redding, Director
Open Source Recycling

Pat Okerlund, Community Organizer
Organizing for Action (OFA), Hampton Roads

Elizabeth K. Williams, MD
Pediatrician

Mark E. Hanson, President
Renewable Energy Electric Vehicle Association (REEVA)

Anthony Smith, CEO
Secure Futures, LLC

Dr. Erica Holloman, Program Coordinator
Southeast CARE Coalition

Edmond Marroni, Sowers of Justice Leadership Team
Sowers of Justice in Hampton Roads

Billy Weitzenfeld, Executive Director
The Association of Energy Conservation Professionals

Glenn R. Short, Group Leader
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, Unitarian Universalist, ForEverGreen

Natalie Pien, Chair
Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun Green Team

Madeline Smith, President
University of Richmond Greeks Going Green

Michael James-Deramo, President
VCU Environmental Coalition

Glen Besa, Director
Virginia Chapter Sierra Club

Jessica Greene, Climate Organizer
Virginia Conservation Network

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Barton, General Minister
Virginia Council of Churches

Kendyl Crawford, Board Chair
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light

Ladelle McWhorter, Chairperson
Virginia Organizing

Aaron Sutch, Program Director
Virginia Solar United Neighborhoods (VA SUN)

Rabib Hasan, Coalition Chair
Virginia Student Environmental Coalition

Claire Wyatt, Statewide Organizer
Virginia Student Power Network

Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Director of Federal Policy
We Act for Environmental Justice

Skip Stiles, Executive Director
Wetlands Watch

Misty Boos, Director
Wild Virginia

Cc: The Honorable Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
The Honorable Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
The Honorable Molly Ward, Secretary of Natural Resources

This letter was initiated by the Virginia Sierra Club.

Photo credit: Shenandoah National Park

Editor Confused On Climate Science

Daily News-Record
December 11, 2015

While belittling the idea that climate change is serious, the editor makes much of past natural climate variability, as if that means that we are not responsible for what is happening now (“Hysteria Continues,” Dec. 3). Ridiculous!

Chris Mooney summed up the issue in The Washington Post: “To cite past warm periods as if they somehow invalidate what’s happening during the present one, is to deeply misunderstand the significance of these periods to the current climate debate, and to scientific understanding.”

Leslie Grady Jr.
Harrisonburg

Climate Scientists Are Not Hysterics

Daily News-Record
December 10, 2015

This newspaper’s editorials continue to try to bring down climate scientists and our need to get a handle on anthropomorphic climate change. (“Hysteria Continues,” Dec. 3).

To me, the hysteria is coming from the editorial board because they realize they may be on the wrong side of this issue, in that 97-plus percent of climate scientists and 60-70 percent of U.S. citizens understand that we have a problem that needs to be addressed.

They quote Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser, neither of whom denies climate change, but who have a “feeling” that a warming world might actually be good for us and doing something might hurt the economy.

This is in direct contradiction to what climate scientists tell us. It seems to me that it would be prudent to act to decrease our carbon blanket as insurance. The economic argument against doing something has been addressed by fee and dividend (Citizen Climate Lobby).

Charles Strickler
Harrisonburg

We Must Protect Our Children From Global Warming

Daily News-Record
August 28, 2015

babyAs I ate lunch in a restaurant, a 2-year-old and an infant were at a nearby table. Because an article in the Daily News-Record reported that July was the hottest month on record, I wondered what their lives will be like (“July Sets Record As Hottest Month Ever,” Aug. 21). How high will sea level rise? How will changing precipitation patterns influence agriculture? Where will people go when parts of our country become too hot to be hospitable?

Much has been made of the federal Clean Power Plan and the national commitment to cut CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, both are inadequate for keeping Earth’s temperature increase below 3.6 degrees, an increase too high to stop the ice from melting and sea level rising.

When will we take the hard steps necessary to cut our CO2 emissions drastically? Will it be soon enough to ensure a bright future for all children?

Leslie Grady Jr.
Harrisonburg

Columnist Williams Wrong On CO2

sunColumnist Williams Wrong On CO2
Les Grady
March 23, 2015, Daily News-Record

In a recent column, Walter Williams tried to discredit the idea that atmospheric CO2 levels are causing climate change (“Climate Change a Ruse for Socialism,” March14). He did so by noting that “460 million years ago, CO2 concentrations were 4400 ppm, and temperatures were about the same as they are today,” thereby implying that CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature are not connected.

Mr. Williams failed to add that another determinant of Earth’s temperature, the sun, was weaker 460 million years ago. The sun was so weak that at least 3000 ppm of CO2 was needed in the atmosphere just to prevent an ice age. Thus, rather than discrediting the role of CO2 in regulating Earth’s temperature, his example affirmed it.

Today, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest since the development of human civilization. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping its increase.

Leslie Grady Jr.
Harrisonburg

I Am One Of The Alarmed

Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, VA); March 3, 2015
Open Forum
Leslie Grady, Jr.

fuelalarmAmericans can be divided into six groups, depending on their concern about climate change, ranging from the Alarmed to the Dismissive. I belong to The Alarmed.

I am an engineer. For more than 40 years I taught, conducted research, and published in engineering and science journals. I also was a consultant to major chemical companies and was employed by a large environmental engineering consulting firm. So how can I be among the Alarmed?

The birth of our granddaughter in 2005 focused my attention on global warming because I realized that if the scientists were right, she would experience significant human-caused climate change during her lifetime. To educate myself I first read two books, both written by scientists, that summarized the state of climate science. Then I began to read papers from the scientific literature, as well as additional books and documents prepared by expert groups convened by the National Academy of Sciences and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

I have a sound layman’s understanding of climate science. That understanding convinces me that humanity faces dire problems if we do not move rapidly and efficiently to limit atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. Since we are currently doing little, yes, I am alarmed.

An important finding in the latest IPCC report is that Earth’s warming is directly proportional to the total amount of fossil fuel-derived CO2 put into the atmosphere. This sets an upper limit on the CO2 we can emit while staying within a given degree of warming, i.e., it sets a CO2 budget. Governments worldwide have agreed to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees. At the current rate of CO2 emissions, the budget associated with that limit will be reached in around 25 years, a very short time within which to make major changes in our energy economy. This is another cause for my alarm.

If we immediately start significantly reducing our emission rate we extend the time before the limit is reached. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that if we cut our emissions per unit of GDP by 6.2 percent a year we can achieve zero emissions by 2100 while staying within the 3.6-degree limit. Although this is a steep cut, it still gives me hope.

I love modern society and all the benefits that readily available and “inexpensive” fossil fuels have brought us. However, fossil fuels have only been inexpensive because their users don’t pay their full costs. Rather, they are borne indirectly by society through the impacts of climate change. The artificially low price of fossil fuels makes it difficult for alternative energy sources, such as renewable and nuclear energy, to compete in the market place. Consequently, innovation is stifled and it becomes more difficult to move ideas from the laboratory into practice.

In spite of that, many innovative things are being done that can revolutionize our energy systems if given a level playing field to compete on. These include more efficient solar cells, better energy storage devices, wireless battery charging technology, and even carbon nanotubes capable of absorbing the sun’s radiation and storing it in chemical form. Technical advances like these give me hope.

People worldwide aspire to a standard of living like ours and have every right to pursue it. However, if they do so with fossil fuels, we face disaster. Thus, we must put fossil fuels aside. This will be an enormous task, but we can accomplish it if we begin now. We must put a price on carbon. If done through a revenue-neutral fee and dividend approach, warming can be kept within 3.6 degrees and our economy can be strengthened. This also gives me hope.

Although I am willing to be called alarmed, it is time to quit the finger pointing and name-calling. It does no good to dismiss climate change as if it doesn’t exist or to rail against nonexistent conspiracies, as this newspaper does. Neither does it do any good to think the problem can be solved easily. Rather, we need to put the past behind us and create an environment where innovation can flourish.

Dr. Grady lives in Harrisonburg.

Find a link to I Am One Of The Alarmed here. A printable pdf version is here.

Les Grady is an active member of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley Steering Committee. He currently heads up the organization’s Speakers Bureau. He served as Steering Committee Chairman from 2012 through 2014.

Global Warming Is No Hoax

Former CAAV Chair Les Grady
Former CAAV Chair Les Grady

Global Warming Is No Hoax, Les Grady
February 19, 2015, Daily News-Record

Although the editor would have us believe that global warming is a hoax, that is far from the truth (“How Hot Is It?” Feb. 13 *see this below).

For an analysis of the news stories and blogs upon which the editorial was based, read “Nothing False about Temperature Data” at FactCheck.org.

Calculating the global mean temperature record is complicated. For an explanation of why and how adjustments must be made to the raw data from weather stations see “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change” by Robert Henson or read “Instrumental Temperature Record” on Wikipedia.

As much as we fixate on global air temperatures, more than 90 percent of the heat gained by Earth has gone into the oceans. That record shows a steady and inexorable climb, demonstrating clearly that Earth is warming in a manner consistent with the increase in greenhouse gases.

Leslie Grady Jr.
Harrisonburg

*How Hot Is It?
Daily News-Record, February 13, 2015

Shortly after 2014 melded into 2015, we were told – ad infinitum and nauseam – that the former was the “hottest year on record.” The implication: Man is so intent on baking the planet, so get ready for more of the same. Year after sweltering year.

But what if this isn’t so? What if the only things getting cooked are the data on which these lamentations are based? That seems to be the case. Francis Menton, who writes the Manhattan Contrarian blog, points his readers to Christopher Booker of London’s Telegraph, who calls into question 2014’s distinction as the “hottest year on record,” employing words such as “fraud” and “scandal.”

The basic charge cited in both articles was this: To quote Mr. Menton, “The past has been cooled to make the present look warmer by comparison.” At first blush, this sounds so diabolical as to totally strain credulity. So how, really, can such an allegation be credibly explained?

Simply stated, intrepid researchers such as Paul Homewood and Tony Heller have culled historical data from myriad weather stations across the globe – from Paraguay to Siberia to upstate New York – and found a similar pattern of tampering: “one-way adjustments” downward. That is, the willful rejiggering of data to establish evidence of irrefutable, and perhaps irreversible, global warming.

Consider Mr. Booker’s summary of Mr. Homewood’s findings:

“Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely `disappears’ Iceland’s “`sea ice years’ around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.”

Mr. Menton concludes that “hottest year on record” declarations have been tendered without proper – or any – examination of satellite data. And none of the reports trumpeting the distinction (whether in Scientific American and The New York Times or by the BBC), he says, refer to these data.

“[A]nybody who follows this issue even a little,” Mr. Menton writes, “knows that beginning in 1979 the U.S. government at great taxpayer expense has put up satellites with sophisticated instruments to get much more accurate measurements of world temperatures than previously available. … Luckily it’s not too hard to figure out what the satellites say.”

And that is? Precisely this, notes Mr. Menton: “2014 was not the hottest year, nor close, but rather tied for 6th/7th place in the 36-year record … 0.3 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest year, which was 1998 – 16 years ago. Now 0.3 degrees C may not be a lot, but it’s also not a little in a record that only varies by about 1.2 degrees C from coolest to warmest year.”

No wonder Mr. Menton calls climate change, formerly known as global warming, “the greatest scientific fraud of all time.”

Are Local Reps Dragging Feet On Environment?

Joy Loving © Matt Schmachtenberg
Joy Loving © Matt Schmachtenberg

Are Local Reps Dragging Feet On Environment?, Joy Loving
Daily News-Record, February 13, 2015

A recent editorial in the Virginian Pilot reported on the defeat of the Virginia Coastal Protection Act put forward by Republican Del. Ron Villaneuva, R-Virginia Beach, and Democratic Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico. Virginia would have joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

This “East Coast cap and trade program lets states sell carbon allowances to utilities, with a goal of reducing emissions,” the Pilot reported. Money raised through the program would have prepared for sea-level rise and sinking land along our coast, bolstered our renewable energy industry, and assisted coal miners whose jobs are shrinking rapidly.

Too bad my local legislators did not support this market-driven way to create jobs and retrain workers whose jobs are going away. Are Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, and Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, among state lawmakers who for years, the Pilot claimed, “have dragged their feet rather than addressing the threat, sacrificing the long-term security of critical assets and communities to partisan crusades and gamesmanship”?

Joy Loving
Grottoes

Virginia A Dark Hole Of Ignorant Policy?

Laura cropped.pic
CAAV Chair Laura Dansby

Virginia A Dark Hole Of Ignorant Policy?, Laura Dansby
Daily News-Record, February 12, 2015

The Atlantic Ocean has risen 18 inches at Sewells Point in Norfolk. Del. Ron Villanueva, R-Virginia Beach, introduced The Virginia Coastal Protection Act.

The goal of the bill is to reduce heat-trapping emissions and raise money for coastal adaptation. This is accomplished by allowing states to sell carbon allowances to utilities.

Virginia would join 10 other Eastern states in a program that would raise $200 million per year for Virginia toward coastal adaptation. Also, a portion of the funds would strengthen renewable energy programs and help to economically diversify Virginia’s dying coal region. Unsurprisingly, Dominion opposed the bill and it failed. Ron Villanueva, a Republican, but he gets it.

The people on the coast, the U.S. military, and the politicians know something must be done. Virginia should be the jewel in the crown of the Eastern Seaboard, not a dark hole of ignorant policy.

Laura Dansby
Keezletown

TO: Virginia Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Commission

CC.9.14

TO: Virginia Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Commission
FROM: Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV)
DATE: October 11, 2014

Dear Commissioner:

Climate Action Alliance of the Valley is a grassroots organization in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area formed seven years ago with the mission to educate and lobby on issues arising from climate change and their solutions, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable practices. During that time we have organized public forums on all aspects of renewable energy and conservation; tabled at countless environmental events; written editorials and letters to the editor in our local newspaper and others around the state; met with the editorial board of The Daily News-Record and a committee from the local television station; lobbied local, state, and federal representatives; and given numerous presentations for civic and political groups. Our steering committee of 14 meets bi-monthly. We have an active mailing list of 450 associates.

We were gratified when Governor Kaine formed the first climate change commission, disappointed when Governor McDonnell ignored it, and are now encouraged that Governor McAuliffe has reinstated the Commission. We are impressed with the quality of its membership.

Some of our members attended meetings of the Commission under the Kaine administration, as well as the Commission’s inaugural meeting under Governor McAuliffe. We are pleased that Governor McAuliffe did not mince words as to the reality and seriousness of climate change and explicitly charged the Commission to proceed on that basis. Indeed, in general, we were impressed with the energy and forcefulness of the Governor and his charge to the Commission. At the same time, there are some things the Governor said and did not say that we would like to go on record as questioning.

Concerning the EPA carbon rules, the Governor seems to be convinced that the rules have not given Virginia credit for efficiencies already implemented. However, the process used by the EPA explicitly gives credit for initiatives implemented or started by states. We prefer that Virginia focus on complying rather than contesting the EPA carbon rules.

The Governor made the case that the proposed natural gas pipeline would help power Virginia’s economy and reduce the use of dirty coal. With respect to job creation, the Governor’s enthusiasm overlooked the “staying power” of those jobs once the pipeline construction is completed. In addition, he did not address the significant probability for harm to Virginia’s land, air, and water, and therefore to the economy, that the pipeline’s construction and deployment will cause.

Natural gas is cleaner than coal only if the leak rate is kept below 3%. No mention was made of the importance of keeping leak rates low if we are to use natural gas.

Building out natural gas infrastructure must be done as part of an overall plan that achieves greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The danger is that if too much is invested in natural gas infrastructure, we will not be able to afford the desired build-out of renewable energy infrastructure.

The Governor seemed to let his concern for Virginia’s economy dominate his energy policy by citing the decline of national defense jobs. We think the proper approach is to design an energy and climate policy to meet climate change goals, allowing the economy to build around those priorities. If we do the former rather than the latter, we almost surely will continue the pattern of sacrificing the environment in hopes of short term gains for the economy.

Calling upon the Dominion Power representative on the Commission, the Governor pointed out that about 40% of Virginia’s power comes from nuclear power. There might be a push by Dominion to build additional nuclear power since nuclear power’s comparatively low carbon emissions could help with compliance with the EPA carbon rules. Conventional nuclear power continues to be plagued by the problem of disposal of nuclear waste, danger of meltdown and release of dangerous radiation, and vulnerability to terrorism. Given these considerations, the State Corporation Commission should be enabled to provide rate increases to support utility plans that involve additional nuclear power only if (a) the cost is less than solar and wind, either distributed or owned by the utility, and (b) the nuclear technology used is of an advanced type that minimizes vulnerability to terrorism, safety concerns, and issues of storage and/or disposal of nuclear waste.

Governor McAuliffe came across as defending the interests of Dominion Power. The demand for electricity is very likely to go up tremendously as we transition off of fossil fuels, possibly as much as 3-5 times by 2100. More cars will be electric, more buildings will use heat pumps, airplanes are likely to be powered by hydrogen, which requires electricity to produce, etc. Even with tremendous growth of rooftop solar and other on-site renewables, Dominion Power is destined for massive, continuous growth. It is our job to make sure that growth is from renewables and not fuels that emit greenhouse gases.

Among the specific recommendations we would like to see come out of the Commission are:

1.    A mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard for the utilities with incremental yearly increases
2.    Energy efficiency building code standards with enforcement of those standards for all commercial and domestic buildings, public and private
3.    Incentives and programs for schools to build net zero energy buildings and to add solar power to existing school buildings
4.    Build-out of offshore wind without delay
5.    A moratorium on offshore oil and gas (How can we expect to reduce greenhouse emissions if we keep expanding fossil fuel infrastructure?)
6.    Incentives for installation of solar power and avoidance of disincentives, such as standby fees, for connecting solar arrays to the grid
7.    A document that covers all of the sustainability practices needed to reduce greenhouse gases that include power plant emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and agricultural practices.
8.    An analysis that shows how the sum of the initiatives required by the Federal government combined with the Commission’s recommendations will achieve Virginia’s share of greenhouse gas reductions needed to keep global temperature rise below 2° Celsius.
9.    If new nuclear energy facilities are used to meet our electricity needs they should be only advanced designs that minimize vulnerability to terrorism, safety concerns, and issues of storage and/or disposal of nuclear waste.

We would also urge the Commission to encourage the use of a carbon fee and dividend approach to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This approach has been incorporated into several bills proposed in Congress and is the focus of the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Carbon fee and dividend is a market based approach to emissions reduction. The carbon fee removes the current market distortion of fossil fuel prices that do not reflect the damage to the climate. The result would be that renewable energy will tend to replace fossil fuels and energy will be used more efficiently. The fees collected on carbon based fuels are paid back to citizens per capita to offset the increase in the price of fuel and other goods tied to that increase. Credible studies have shown that carbon fee and dividend reduces emissions and even modestly improves the economy over business as usual. (See REMI report at CitizensClimateLobby.org)

One of the tasks of the Commission should be to study how carbon fee and dividend would affect the Virginia economy in particular. It is likely that Virginia would benefit highly, because Virginia is not an oil and gas producing state. The movement to renewables would benefit Virginia’s high technology and manufacturing sectors.  The only sector that would be negatively affected would be coal, but coal is already destined to dramatic decrease regardless of how emissions are reduced.

We consider climate change the defining issue of our time, of all time, and encourage the Commission to make its decisions bearing this in mind. All credible sources have warned us that, indeed, time is not on humanity’s side with respect to our changing climate. Unfortunately Virginia has not been a leader with respect to energy reform up to this point. We trust that this will change with a rapid roll out of the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Commission’s bold, thoughtful, and forward looking recommendations.

On behalf of the CAAV Steering Committee, whose names follow,

C. P. Leslie Grady Jr., Ph.D., Chair

Steering Committee Members
Emily Blake
Laura Dansby
Carl Droms
Joni Grady
Joy Loving
Pete Mahoney
Anne Nielsen
Lynn Smith
Cathy Strickler
Charles Strickler
RoxAnna Theiss
Adrie Voors
Rickie Wertz