Monday, January 23, 2012

Clean Energy Business Lobby Day Results

Eileen Levandoski from the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club coordinated the "Clean Energy Business Lobby Day" on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in Richmond, VA.   Below is the email she sent telling about what happened:

Dear Clean Energy Business Friends:

Thank you for participating in yesterday's Clean Energy Business Lobby Day!  Let me quickly recount what happened yesterday and then jump to next steps.

  • Over 40 clean energy business reps participated.  Throughout the day, we had 29 meetings with legislators and 19 meetings with legislative aides.  Our legislative packet was hand-delivered to all 140 legislators by business reps.
  • While our press conference with excellent speakers (Aviv Goldsmith from Fishermen's Energy, Bill Greenleaf from Richmond Region Energy Alliance and Scott Sklar with The Stella Group) was picked up by the  AP, we were more-or-less news cycle-wise trumped by the Governor's Press Conference and his uranium mining announcement.  Bites, but what can you do...
  • In a statement from the floor of the State Senate, Senator Frank Wagner recognized the day as "Clean Energy Business Lobby Day".  Delegate Tom Rust did similarly in the House of Delegates.  Even the Richmond Times-Dispatch recognized the day
  • Many participants witnessed first hand Virginia's style of sausage-making by attending the House Commerce and Labor committee meeting in the afternoon where they voted unanimously to weaken the RPS and almost killed the one good bill on efficiency.
  • Finally at the end of a long day of lobbying for clean energy, we kicked back to enjoy remarks from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and past and future? gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe while also hob-knobbing with 12 legislators and numerous legislative aides at our legislative reception.
Under separate cover, I will be sending out our feedback form from your appointments with legislators.  This is very important information to have as we continue our outreach to move our priority legislation along. 

I'll also be sharing photos and news clips.  Feel free to share anything you have from the day as well.

Moving on to next steps:

  • We've established an email chain for discussing legislation with many of our solar industry friends.  I am in the throes of moving this group over to a Google discussion group.  If you would like to be included in this discussion and sent an invitation to this Google group, please shoot me an email.  As we will be also greatly discussing RPS reforms, our friends in the other clean energy industries are more than welcome to join the discussion group. 
  • Unless I hear otherwise from you, I will keep your email on stand-by for Rapid Response and Action Alerts as we need calls and/or emails into the General Assembly.
After yesterday's activities, I think the General Assembly is now on notice that Virginia's Clean Energy businesses mean business.  Despite the fact that Virginia has miles to make up when it comes to renewable energy, we are presenting them an agenda that makes sense and is totally "accomplish-able", and presents at the minimum baby steps towards the ideal. 

On behalf of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, let me again extend our tremendous thanks and appreciation for the hard work you each put into yesterday and to the hard work you'll hopefully continue to give for Virginia's clean energy future. 


Eileen Levandoski
Virginia Conservation Program Manager
Virginia Chapter Sierra Club

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