In October 2020, after the Richmond Times Dispatch wrote about how the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) will burden ratepayers with costs while guaranteeing Dominion Energy could receive billions in profit, my organization, Food & Water Watch, and others reached out to Virginia’s House Speaker Delegate Filler-Corn. We wanted to hear from her how she planned to fix many of the VCEA’s significant flaws, like the fact its energy commitments aren’t strong enough to tackle climate change. Three months later, we finally received a response and last week, Filler-Corn’s policy director met with us for a mere 30 minutes. She was unable to confirm the Speaker’s stance on two bills that would rapidly ramp up Virginia’s climate commitments. These bills are HB2292, which would stop new fossil-fuel projects in the Commonwealth and protect transitioning fossil fuel industry workers, and HB1937, which would commit Virginia to a just transition to a 100% clean renewable energy grid by 2036. We asked the Speaker to prioritize these issues by bringing the bills to a full House legislature vote. It’s been a week since our meeting and neither bill has been docketed to a committee hearing. Without a hearing, these bills will die unfairly at a time when our state’s climate crisis so desperately needs bold climate solutions. There’s no time to waste, which is why we must call on Delegate Filler-Corn and demand she listen to the people, docket HB2292 and HB1937, and have them pass this session.

Jolene Mafnas

Centreville, VA

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