Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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8/24/18  11:35 pm
Commenter: Louise Ward, 50 Ways Rockbridge Environmrnnntal Committee

Change our Energy Future - Plan Based on Renewables & Conservation

1. The choices of Virginia's future energy sources should be made by the citizens of the Commonwealth, not by utility or energy companies. These choices should be based on facts & up-to-date information.

2. There should be renewed promotion of conservation, driven by government agencies (not utilities), & analysis of the effectiveness of these conservation measures & the actual reduction in demand for energy.

3. There should be increased encouragement of the use of renewables. The state government should eliminate any subsidies for the use of coal, petroleum or gas related sources, & instead provide subsidies & tax incentives for the  use of renewables. Virginia has tremendous potential for energy generation from offshore wind. The military has already recognized this, as evidenced by their facility at Wallups Island. The Commonwealth  should be encouraging wind companies as well. There should also be more generous net metering policies so that individuals, co-ops, businesses & institutions are encouraged to build their own systems & sell back to the grid.  This will reduce demand on the transmission grid as well as on generation of energy.

4. There should be updated analysis of current consumption & projected need, taking into account accurate estimates of current & future conservation measures, & use of renewables by individuals & small energy co-ops as well as business, industry &  institutions.  This should be done by state agencies &/or independent consultants not affiliated with utility or energy companies. Dominion projected a need for a generating station & the pipelines based on obsolete & inaccurate information, & apparently has now decided that the station need not be built.  Accurate analysis based on correct data & reasonable projections  will show that Virginia has sufficient gas without the need for more gas pipelines, particularly if there is more encouragement of offshore wind & rooftop solar.

5. There is a disproportionate adverse impact on economically disadvantaged & minority communities. Rising temperatures over the past several years have resulted in increasing demand for air-conditioning, causing utility costs to rise. Disadvantaged people have less ability to absorb these increased costs. In addition, the location of the proposed  Buckingham  Compressor Station & pipeline will have a serious detrimental impact on the historic African American community at Union Hill. The Virginia NAACP & others have spoken out against this blatant  environmental & racial injustice.

6. Elected officials & agency officials in Virginia should not be allowed to accept money, gifts, or in-kind donations from energy companies, utility companies or any person or company with a vested interest. Past & current policies & situations, particularly the matter of the Atlantic Coast & Mountain Valley Pipelines, show that until donations are no longer permitted, the interests of the citizens of Virginia related to energy choices (& other lifestyle choices) will not be served in a fair & impartial manner.

Thank you for your consideration. Louise Ward










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