Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coal Prices Catch Fire, Virginians Left in Cold

In the wake of Dominion Virginia Power’s 18 percent rate increase due to higher fuel costs, the Washington Post reported on Friday that this winter “the utility shut-off service to 93,890 customers for nonpayment, a 15 percent jump from 2007.” Last month, the Virginian-Pilot reported Dominion has added a 1.4 percent fee to all electricity bills to finance construction of its new $2 billion coal-fired power plant in Wise County.

It's outrageous that Virginians are losing their heat because they’re being asked to pick up the tab for our Commonwealth’s refusal to break – or even ease – our addiction to coal. Now Virginia faces a triple threat – our energy crisis is deepening our economic crisis while our climate crisis continues to go unaddressed.

Fortunately, the same solutions can take steps towards solving all three crises at the same time. We can save consumers money by making their homes more energy efficient, strengthen our economy by creating thousands of green jobs, and preserve our environment for our children and grandchildren by cutting Virginia's global warming pollution.

Our leaders in Richmond need to give Dominion new incentives to begin the shift away from coal and towards renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. We’ll need bold action from Virginia's new governor and our next General Assembly to chart a new course towards clean energy. I’ll fight to make that happen.

Learn more about my campaign for House of Delegates at
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