Virginia Environmental News Roundup – utility regulation special report

The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley is pleased to provide Harrisonburg’s The Citizen with a monthly survey of energy and environmental news stories about Virginia.

With their permission, we are re-posting these pieces here after they appear in The Citizen.


The link to this piece as first published by The Citizen is HERE.

Editor’s Note: This is a special installment of the periodic contributed news roundups about statewide environmental news. This piece highlights selected utility reform bills that the Virginia General Assembly considered in 2021, with links to further coverage in various media outlets. Future perspectives will cover other important 2021 legislation, about energy, energy efficiency, and other environmental matters.

During 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, most utility customers enjoyed a moratorium on paying utility bills. Anticipating the lifting of that moratorium, some legislators examined existing state law with a view to identifying and addressing some that favored utilities over consumer. The result was introduction of several bills that, together, would expand the State Corporation Commission’s authority to regulate Virginia’s investor-owned monopoly utilities in a more balanced manner than current law allows. All but one were filed in the House of Delegates.

Although consolidated and modified versions of these bills passed the House, all failed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. Thus, the full Senate never had the opportunity to vote for or against them. The same Senate Commerce and Labor Committee also killed the one bill introduced in that chamber. Below is a table of the major bills and whether our area Delegates and State Senators supported them. Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) sits on the Commerce and Labor committee.

Bill No.PurposeDel. WiltDel. GilbertDel. RunionSen. HangerSen. Obenshain
HB 1914Give SCC discretion on counting utility costs against revenuesNoNoNoN/ANo
HB 1984Give SCC added discretion to determine fair rate of return & order rate changesNoNoNoN/ANo
HB 2049Prevent using overearnings for new projects rather than refundingNoNoNoN/ANo
HB 2200Change SCC procedures re setting fair rate of return, crediting 100% overearnings to customers, & eliminating $50M refund limit, starting 2021.YesNoNoN/ANo
HB 2160Give SCC authority to set fair rate of return & require crediting 100% overearnings to customers rather than current 70%NoNoNoN/ANo
SB 1292Require crediting 100% overearnings to customers rather than current 70%N/AN/AN/AN/ANo

As noted in the brief descriptions above, the bills were designed to lower ratepayers’ bills, return excess charges to ratepayers, and give the SCC the ability to set fair ratesAdvocates and bill sponsors, as well as those legislators who supported these bills, took note of the fact that Virginia’s largest monopoly-owned utility—Dominion Energy—had been successful in avoiding periodic SCC review since passage of a 2015 law. After that, it had become obvious that Dominion had overcharged its customers around an estimated $500 million.

A previous General Assembly restored the periodic SCC review, to occur every three years starting 2021. That review will be underway soon when Dominion files the necessary paperwork with the SCC. The promise of the above 2021 bills was to enable the SCC to ensure that such large overcharges would not recur and that any refunds it ordered would in fact go to the overcharged customers. The latter was a priority because of other prior legislation that allowed Dominion to (1) hold onto 30% of any overcharges and return only 70% and (2) make a case that it should keep all overcharges and apply them to the costs of future approved projects.

Despite strong support in the House of Delegates and strong advocacy by many individuals and groups, none of the bills became law. It is likely efforts to achieve these and similar reforms will happen for the 2022 General Assembly session. It might be useful to understand your representatives’ reasons for their votes on this year’s bills.

Reflecting on Earth Day

Stop by the Pond at Purcell Park anytime between 5 and 6PM on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2021, to join others in finding hope and solidarity in our love and caring protection of our home planet!


Not sure how to find the Pond at Purcell Park?

Here is a map:

Click HERE to find Purcell Park on a Google map.

A Housing Trust Fund for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

At their February 16, 2021, steering committee meeting, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley voted to endorse Faith in Action’s efforts to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

“Faith in Action is a non-partisan, faith-based organization that speaks in the public arena. We have no common theological, political, or ideological agenda. We work annually on a pragmatic, workable, local issue that is selected by our members. This work does mean that we ask elected officials and other local government personnel to make changes to work toward justice.” – https://www.harrisonburgfaithinaction.org/about-us

The group’s current work focuses on local affordable housing:

“There is a lack of affordable and accessible housing in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Access to a stable home improves health, education & economic outcomes. It gives our community’s children a good start in life, ensures our seniors have dignity and a place to call home, and creates a Valley community that works for everyone. Faith in Action is working to pass a resolution for the City and County to work together on a Housing Trust Fund for a long-lasting solution.” https://www.harrisonburgfaithinaction.org/housing-campaign

“… Faith in Action [,] has led a year-long effort [to pass a Housing Trust Fund resolution] in close collaboration with agencies on the front lines of housing and homelessness. These include Mercy House, Our Community Place, Habitat for Humanity, and support organizations like the local United Way, and people directly impacted by housing insecurity. ” https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LxmpGevsTnGp65eBp-hwkxoVIA0tMuvOKKTEldwQbKk/edit

“The goal is to create a fund that receives at least $1.5 million annually that will be spent on building and preserving affordable housing in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. The trust fund aims to: maximize public-private participation; secure a dedicated continuous funding source; leverage other resources. A potential list of uses include: new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition, rental assistance, land trusts, cooperative housing, transitional or emergency housing, preservation of assisted housing, weatherization, emergency repairs, housing-related services and more.” https://www.harrisonburgfaithinaction.org/htf

Learn more about the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County from Faith in Action HERE.

Divest MVP: Stop funding for the Mountain Valley Pipeline!

In collaboration with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups across the country, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) is joining the movement to call for divestment from the Mountain Valley Pipeline (the MVP). 

For those of you that have not heard of the MVP, it is a 303 mile fracked gas pipeline that stretches from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. The project has proved to be a profound disaster for our environment and natural waterways. To date, the pipeline, which is still under construction, has threatened over 1,000 waterways, has been responsible for over 350+ violations of commonsense water protections, and has been fined over two million dollars for environmental damages.

Now is the time to join the fight to end the construction of the MVP. 

As stated previously CAAV has joined other environmental groups across the nation in calling for the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and 5 other major banks to divest from this environmentally disastrous project. There is a wide range of actions you can take to help us do this. 

  • The first action you can take is signing the Sierra Club petition calling for divestment. The link to that can be found here.
  • The next thing you can do is participate in the DivestMVP Coalitions’ Virtual Rally on February 25, 6-7 PM EST! The link to register for this is here. This virtual rally, hosted by the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, Oil Change International, and POWHR, will get you up to speed on the latest MVP news, the banks behind MVP, and what you can do to help stop MVP from ever getting completed.
  • You can also write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and post on social media supporting the call for divestment. The full Sierra Club media toolkit, which contains suggested postings for your Facebook and Twitter, as well as sample letters to the editor, can be found here!
  • Finally, you can check out the POWHR Divest MVP webpage that contains great additional information, like how to divest from your bank if they choose to continue funding this awful project.

We have a duty to protect our natural waterways and stop this terrible project from being completed. Together let’s make our voices be heard and put an end to this pipeline! 

Thank you all for your continued support and activism.

-Luciano Benjamin for the CAAV steering committee, February 18, 2021

CAAV’s Chair on the Paris Agreement for “1on1”

1on1: What it means as Biden rejoins climate agreement

Climate Action Alliance of the Valley Chair Jo Anne St. Clair spoke with Bob Corso on January 21, 2021, for WHSV’s 1on1 about the importance of President Biden’s action to have the United States rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Watch the interview here.

2021 Legislation That Needs Your Support

Dear Climate Friend:

As you know, the Virginia General Assembly is now in session.  

CAAV’s Legislation and Elections committee has identified climate-friendly bills that, if enacted, would make a difference.  Below is a very brief summary of each one.

Please contact your Delegate and Senator, and urge them to support these bills.  And please act quickly.  The GA is moving rapidly through a great many bills.  If you need the name and contact information for your Delegate and/or Senator, click here:

https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Clean Transportation Bills

HB 1965–the Clean Cars bill.  Allows State Air Pollution Control Board to establish ZEV (zero emissions vehicles) mandate beginning with 2025 vehicles

1) Environmental benefits – 48% of VA’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the transportation sector. More LEV and ZEV vehicles will help reduce this pollution. 

2) More ZEV options – Currently many dealerships in VA do not offer ZEVs because they do not want to or because they cannot get them. This law would be a signal to the manufacturers that VA is serious about ZEVs and they will send more ZEVs to VA to be sold.

3) Support the growing clean energy economy – More ZEVs on the road means VA will need to build more EV charging stations and hire more EV technicians, generating good-paying jobs for Virginians. 

4) Increase demand for clean electricity – as more ZEVs are deployed, consumer awareness of the source of their electricity will grow, and consumers will want the utilities to provide them with cleaner electricity.

5) Long lead time – the 2025 implementation gives dealerships ample time to prepare for this transition.

HB 1979 EV Rebate bill

1) A state rebate of $2500 will reduce the upfront cost of a new or used EV.

2) This rebate will provide an additional $2,000 to low income Virginians, promoting equity.

3) Cash on the hood rebate reduces the final purchase or lease price of the EV.

Utility Reform Bills

Background

Virginians currently pay the sixth highest energy bills in the country, bills that for more than 75% of Virginia households are considered unaffordable by federal standards. Too many Virginians are desperate for economic relief, particularly when it comes to paying monthly bills.  Prioritizing the passage of consumer protection legislation to ensure Virginians are not overcharged by their energy providers should be a major goal of Virginia’s legislators.

With a rate case coming up later in 2021 for Virginia’s largest energy provider, this issue could not be more urgent. If the General Assembly does not act this session to protect consumers and restore oversight authority to regulators, Virginians are poised to lose out on the over $500 million they’ve been overcharged by Dominion Energy since 2017 and, even worse, may continue to be forced to pay bills that are much higher than they should be moving forward. These bills— HB 2160, HB 2200, HB 2049, HB 1984, HB 1914, and HB 1835—will provide much greater balance between utility and customer interests than now exists under Virginia’s “regulated utility mode.”

Why These Bills Matter

  • Virginians pay the 6th highest energy bills in the country, bills unaffordable for 75% of Virginia households based on federal energy burden standards.
  • Dominion Energy has overcharged customers by at least $502 million since 2017. Virginians deserve this money back.
  • Dominion Energy customers have already seen their bills increase by more than 25% in the last decade, and these bills are projected to rise even more as costs for Grid Modernization Act, Clean Economy Act, etc. are added to customers’ bills. Virginians urgently need rate relief.

Bill Specifics

HB 2160 Preventing Utilities from Keeping Customer Overcharges as Unmerited Profit Bonuses

Chief Patron: Delegate Kathy Tran; Chief Co-Patron: Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg

As regulated utility monopolies benefit from no competition, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is tasked with establishing their fair – but not unlimited – authorized profit margin. However, Virginia is the only state in the country whose legal code mandates that specific utilities – Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power (APCo) – receive profit bonuses tacked onto this authorized profit margin. These bonuses are not tied to performance, but rather are granted to the utilities as a reward for overcharging their customers. This bill removes provisions that allow utilities to keep customer overcharges as bonuses and instead restores SCC authority to fully refund 100% of overcharges back to customers.  The Bill:

1. Eliminates provision that allows utilities to keep a bonus profit of 0.7% above their authorized profit, or return on equity (ROE).

a. Under current law, Dominion and APCo get an automatic profit bonus of 0.7% tacked onto whatever profit margin the SCC sets.

b. Virginia is the only state in the country with a mandatory “earnings band” or “earnings collar” like this written into law.

c. Unless changed, this provision would allow Dominion to keep $136 million of customer overcharges (based on overcharges determined in the 2020 SCC Annual Report).

2. Eliminates provision that allows Dominion to pocket an additional 30% of customer overcharges above the 0.7% earnings collar.

a. Under current law, if a utility’s revenue exceeds the 0.7% profit bonus, they are further allowed to keep 30% of customer overcharges as a bonus.

b. Unless changed, this provision would allow Dominion to keep $110 million of customer overcharges (based on overcharges determined in the 2020 SCC Annual Report).  Eliminating these two provisions will prevent Dominion from pocketing $246 million of the $502.7 million it has overcharged Virginians since 2017.

HB 2200 Restoring SCC Authority to Balance the Interest of Utilities and Ratepayers

Chief Patron: Delegate Jay Jones; Chief Co-Patron: Delegate Lee Ware

This ratepayer protection bill makes minor changes to Virginia’s code aimed at restoring State Corporation Commission (SCC) discretion over certain accounting and ratemaking functions that are currently mandated in law to the utility’s benefit.  The Bill:

1. Changes “shall” to “may” in key sections of Virginia’s code.

a. This bill takes specific sections of the code that dictate that the State Corporation

Commission (SCC) shall follow pro-utility provisions and changes it so that the SCC may follow them, if the SCC decides such action benefits customers.

b. This leaves the majority of Virginia’s utility-friendly code provisions intact but gives the SCC discretion over whether these provisions should be implemented during a rate case.

2. Allows the SCC to balance utility and ratepayer interests.

a. Utilities retain ability to recover all costs and their full authorized profit, but the SCC regains authority to determine the time period over which the utilities recover those costs.

b. SCC will be able to (i) prevent utilities from overcharging ratepayers in the future and (ii) order refunds for past overcharges.

3. Restores full SCC discretionary authority over:

a. The length of the recovery period for certain large-scale utility costs (storm expenses, metering retirements, etc.).

b. The cost recovery mechanism utilities can use for large-scale infrastructure projects.

c. Setting utility rates and authorized profit (ROE) moving forward.

d. Issuing full refunds to customers when they have been overcharged by their utility.

HB 2049 Eliminating Roadblocks for Electricity Rate Cuts

Chief Patron: Delegate Dan Helmer; Chief Co-Patrons: Delegate Sally Hudson, Delegate Suhas Subramanyam

This bill allows the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to set future electricity rates that fairly balance

ratepayer and utility interests by eliminating roadblocks currently preventing the SCC from ordering rate reductions.  The Bill:

1. Eliminates $50 million cap in rate reductions.

a. Under current law, the SCC is prevented from lowering rates by more than $50 million, only for Dominion Energy, regardless of whether analysis justifies a much larger rate cut.

b. In recent years, Dominion has overcharged Virginians by more than $300 million/year.

2. Allows SCC to set forward-going rates based on forward-going costs.

a. The SCC is legally barred from reducing Dominion Energy’s electricity rates in the future unless Dominion has been required to pay refunds for overcharges in the past.

b. In practice, this has allowed Dominion to dodge rate reductions by writing off large past expenses in a single year to eliminate refunds, thus preventing the SCC from lowering rates solely based on non-recurring past expenses.

3. Restores SCC authority to determine the recovery period for large costs.

a. Allows the SCC to consider ratepayer and shareholder interests when establishing appropriate cost recovery periods for large expenses like storm damage and metering retirements.

b. This eliminates a key accounting gimmick utilities can use to unfairly keep future rates higher than they should be.

c. This bill brings the rest of Virginia’s code in line with the General Assembly’s decision last year to restore SCC authority over cost recovery periods for retiring generation facilities.

4. Ensures the SCC can set rates as low as possible while still ensuring the utilities can recover their full cost of service and authorized profit but not so high as to continue overcharging customers.

HB 1984 Electric utilities; triennial review proceeding by SCC, fair rates of return. 

Chief Patron:  Sally Hudson, Dan Helmer (chief co-patron), Suhas Subramanyam (chief co-patron),  Dawn Adams, Lee Carter, Carrie Coyner, Patrick Hope, Jay Jones, Mark Keam, Kaye Kory, Sam Rasoul, Ibraheem Samirah, Shelly Simonds, Lee Ware

The Bill:

1. Enables utilities to build new infrastructure projects and guarantees that the utilities can recover the full cost of those projects – plus a guaranteed profit – through either base rates or rate adjustment clauses (RACs).

2. Rolls back a third, yet-untested cost recovery mechanism, the Customer Credit Reinvestment Offset (CCRO).

a. CCROs are designed to allow utilities to instantaneously recover all of the costs for large infrastructure projects by using customer overcharges to instantly pay themselves back for new investments.

b. This is a departure from normal capital investing, where utilities recover their costs over time.

3. Allows the SCC to issue refunds when customers are overcharged.

a. Removing the CCRO mechanism is crucial to guaranteeing customer refunds because CCROs allow a utility to keep the money it has overcharged customers to pay itself back for capital investments.

b. Without this change, customers could lose the over $500 million they have been overcharged by Dominion Energy since 2017 (2020 SCC Annual Report).

4. Increases the SCC’s ability to lower energy prices moving forward.

a. The SCC is legally only allowed to lower a utility’s future rates if it finds that the utility was overcharging its customers in the past.

b. Because CCROs allow utilities to “disappear” past overcharges, if all of a utility’s overearnings are used up by CCROs, then the SCC cannot lower future rates.

c. This is true even though CCROs are all one-off, non-recurring costs.

HB 1914 Electric Utilities Period Costs

Patrons––Helmer, Cole, J.G., Hudson, Subramanyam, Bourne, Coyner, Davis, Hope and Lopez

The Bill:

Requires the Commission to conduct a review for a Phase II Utility in 2021, utilizing the four successive 12-month test periods beginning January 1, 2017, and ending December 31, 2020, with subsequent reviews on a triennial basis utilizing the three successive 12-month test periods ending December 31 immediately preceding the year in which such review proceeding is conducted.

HB 1835 Electric utilities; rate reductions.  

Chief Patron Suhas Subramanyam; Alfonso Lopez

The Bill:

  • Eliminates provisions that limit any rate reduction ordered by the SCC in the first triennial review of Dominion Energy Virginia after January 1, 2021, to $50 million in annual revenues.
  • Provides that in any triennial review, regardless of whether (1) the Commission has ordered bill credits, (2) the utility earned above its authorized rate of return during the test period under review, or (3) the utility has made a request regarding any customer credit reinvestment offsets, the Commission may order any rate reduction it deems necessary and appropriate unless it finds that the resulting rates will not provide the utility with the opportunity to (i) fully recover its costs of providing its services and (ii) earn not less than a fair combined rate of return on its generation and distribution services.

HB 1994, patron Chris Runion

This bill extends the small agricultural generator benefits to businesses that sell Virginia agricultural products, businesses like wineries, breweries, distilleries, and farm markets.  Originally, only farmers growing crops and raising farm animals were eligible for small agricultural generator benefits.

This post is being updated as CAAV L&E members offer input.

Virginia’s Green New Deal: A Conversation with Sam Rasoul

Watch the archived presentation of Sam Rasoul’s talk on January 26, 2021, posted to the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club Facebook videos page. Thanks to Jonathan Stewart!

Tuesday, January 26 | 7PM

A Zoom presentation by Sam Rasoul, member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2014, representing District 11 which includes parts of the Roanoke area.

The Green New Deal is important Virginia Legislation that can transform our economy around the environment and workers. Join VA Delegate Sam Rasoul to learn what the Green New Deal means for Virginians, and to ask any questions you have.

Hosted by the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpc-6opzgqH90nmE4kLSrtgm6UOjOeqzwy

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

1st Annual Harrisonburg “Green Friday”

Please join us to beautify downtown Harrisonburg. Rain or Shine. Touchless check-in. Families welcome. We will be set up outside Pale Fire Brewery, 217 N. Liberty St. We will provide trash bags, safety vests and guidance on where to go. Participants should wear masks, social distance, dress appropriately with proper footwear and protective gloves. Bring your own snacks and water. Prize drawings at info table.

CO-SPONSORS: Earth Day Every Day of Harrisonburg VA and Climate Action Alliance of the Valley

Facebook event page here.


Event photo by Cathy Strickler

Click on the image above for a video compilation from the event on Earth Day Every Day Harrisonburg’s Facebook page. Video credit: Andy Sams


1st Annual Harrisonburg “Green Friday” in the News

Green Is The New Black: Environmentalist Groups Swap Consumerist Tradition For Eco-Friendly ‘Green Friday’
By Kathleen Shaw, November 25, 2020
Daily News-Record


Environmental group hosts 1st annual “Green Friday” event in Harrisonburg
By Cayley Urenko, November 26, 2020
WHSV-TV3

“HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – We all know that Thanksgiving follows Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but an environmental organization is hosting its first annual “Green Friday” event on Nov. 27 in downtown Harrisonburg.”

One Minute for Earth Video Series

BLUESTONE COMMUNICATIONS
Jamison Crenshaw
crenshjn [at] dukes [dot] jmu [dot] edu
804-316-4971

EARTH DAY EVERY DAY AND CLIMATE ACTION ALLIANCE OF THE VALLEY TO PRESENT EDUCATIONAL VIDEO SERIES BEFORE ELECTION DAY

One Minute for Earth video series event will invite diverse speakers to share their stories of environmental care.

HARRISONBURG, Va.—One Minute for Earth-Giving the Planet a Voice on November 3rd is a collaboration hosted by Earth Day Every Day of Harrisonburg (EDED) and Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) to share local citizen perspectives on issues related to the environment.

The video series, held through EDED’s Facebook page, allows community members to view videos from speakers and contribute their own personal “One Minute for Earth” video. EDED encourages anyone interested in speaking in their own video to reach out to EDED using the contact information at the end of the release.

Karen Ryder Lee, a member of both EDED and CAAV, proposed the project to the two groups. A volunteer team spearheaded the project with a goal of collaborating with a diverse group of more than 40 speakers from the community.

“We want to mobilize eco-minded people to register and vote,” says Lee. “By presenting down-to-earth people everyone can identify with, telling their stories of environment care and its impact on their candidate evaluation, we know we can encourage the valley to vote for the issues they care about.”

“The campaign is on its way to exceeding hopes,” adds Lee. “We expected the community speakers to touch as many as 2,000 people in presenting the case for electing pro-environment leaders into office across all levels. As of October 13, there have been 7,800 views for the 27 videos posted to date.”

Each speaker’s video offers quick access to a page with links to the official election information one needs, all in one place, for Augusta, Rockingham, Page and Shenandoah County areas. Links to the candidates’ sites are given so that voters can easily research their environmental platforms.

“The mission of the campaign,” EDED founder Elly Swecker says, “is to remind viewers why environmental issues are so important, encourage them to educate themselves about the candidates, and vote for those who make environment and climate change a priority.”

Some of the speakers sharing videos through the series include: Georgi Tomisato (farmer and president of Shenandoah Green based in Augusta County), Clymer and Kurtz (a Harrisonburg-based songwriting and performing duo) and Scottie Pendleton (physicist and faculty member at JMU).

Earth Day Every Day of Harrisonburg is a nonprofit environmental organization with the goal of reducing plastic waste in the Harrisonburg, VA community. Founder Elly Swecker began the initiative in 2019 in an effort to educate individuals about environmental sustainability practices and empower them by providing practical events and resources.

Contact: ellyswecker [at] gmail [dot] com or 540-810-1929

EDED Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthDayEveryDayHarrisonburg/

CAAV is a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting climate change mitigation in the Shenandoah Valley. For more information on CAAV, visit: https://climateactionallianceofthevalley.org/caav-mission-vision-and-goals-statements/

###


One Minute for the Earth in the News

Activists Team Up To Put Climate Awareness On The Ballot
By Calvin Pynn, October 30, 2020
WMRA

“Climate activist groups in the Shenandoah Valley have teamed up for a project collecting video testimonials. It’s an effort to urge voters to consider the environment as they vote in this election season. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.”

With success from video series, environmental coalition looks to future activism
By Sukainah Abid-Kons, November 24, 2020
Harrisonburg’s The Citizen

“A Harrisonburg-based coalition that focused on environmental issues during this fall’s political campaigns is now harnessing momentum from its “One Minute for Earth” video campaign and is shifting its focus to future activism. “

The Color of Money and Your Utility Bill: What Is and What Can Be

Watch the archived presentation of Harrison Wallace’s talk on October 28, 2020, posted to the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club Facebook videos page. Thanks to Jonathan Stewart!


Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | 7PM

A Zoom presentation by Harrison Wallace, Director of Programs for the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund; formerly Virginia Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network; and a JMU graduate.

Hosted by the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley

People with limited money pay a bigger part of their incomes for electricity than those with bigger incomes.  Why is this and what can be done about it?  This environmental justice issue affects many people in very difficult ways.  Listen in and learn what we can do here in the valley and in Virginia.

Harrison Wallace, a native of Waynesboro and a JMU graduate, lobbied in Richmond several years for Chesapeake Climate Action Network and is now the Director of Programs for CCEEF – Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund.  He brings passion and knowledge to this important topic.

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMoc-2opzsvH9zv-m7qTXnDy9dh0ONMaZdz

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.