Virginia's Energy Plan needs to focus on the future - renewable energy. Fossil fuel-based monopolies should not be able to influence our government and, therefore, our energy bills, land rights, national parks, environmental quality, and our children's futures. We have seen how Dominion has been able to rush its MVP and ACP through without proper research and approval. The small victories won by landowners and environmentalists have been fleeting as agencies which are supposed to protect said interests have simply rubber stamped Dominion's initiatives. All lobbying and funding by corporations needs to be made public (and preferably halted) to ensure our future is not based on campaign contributions.
It boggles my mind that anyone supports funding pipeline projects, fracking, and any investment in the expansion of fossil fuels. Why invest in what we know is detrimental to our environment? In a finite resource! There is a burgeoning industry in solar that will create a vast number of jobs in this state. As the Department of Energy's study of 2016's power creation jobs shows, solar already commands nearly 20% of power creation jobs in this country. Imagine if the roadblocks, hurdles and special interests that are holding solar back were taken out of the equation. We'd have a huge surge of jobs available in renewable engergy, a new field for young people to earn a living in (in a much safer and healthier environment than fossil fuels, by the way), many more training programs to teach and be taken (such as PVCC's new Solar Technician Bootcamp program), and a more stable environmental future for all.
I also urge you to include on- and offshore wind power and other renewable energy sources in Virginia's Energy Plan and to support individuals', communities', and businesses' ability to install these and sell excess energy back to the grid as a way to incentivize the transition to renewable energy sources.