Working to Protect our Environment 

I am fighting for our right to clean air and water.  I will always vote to prevent pollution and bring green energy business to Virginia.  This includes utilizing my membership of the Special Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce and Labor, where all energy-related legislation in the House must go before we determine whether a bill can advance to full Committee.  I have also been appointed the Virginia State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators since 2017.

Electric power restructuring, modernization, and consumer rate reform.

​Over-charging directly resulted from a rate freeze enacted in 2015 to provide funding for the mandatory greenhouse gas reduction proposed for Virginia as part of the federal Clean Power Act.  Due to steps Virginia had already taken to reduce emissions, the percentage reduction requirements we faced was going to be more costly to achieve than our neighboring states who had yet to put in place some of the lower cost measures that we had.  However, with the election of President Trump, the proposed regulations were reversed and we no longer faced a mandate.  The accumulated money, therefore, became an over-charge on consumer electric rates since the stated need for it did not materialize.  Under the legislation passed in the General Assembly in 2018, there was a $200 million rebate through a reduction in consumer bills in spring 2018 and another $150 million rebate in summer 2018 after a full determination was made of the effect of the December federal tax reduction act.

Although the Clean Power Act was reversed, it spoke to the serious crisis of climate change accelerated by over-dependence on fossil fuels.  With or without federal mandates, I have a long-standing commitment to developing green energy and reducing consumption.  I do not believe that Dominion has done enough.  As such, I fully supported provisions in the legislation to:

  • Bring on-line 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar, which is 10 times the current commitment and is enough to serve 1.25 million homes;

  • Spend $1 billion for energy efficiency in the next decade, which includes $13 million per year from the company-funded Energy Share Weatherization program that is not in the rate base and is focused on low income households; and

  • Carry out State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved grid transformation to promote non-peak energy use and provide for net metering to allow relatively small-scale solar generation to be sold back and used throughout the grid.

I not only advocated provisions directing the SCC to consider funding robust investments in green energy, I also supported provisions for modernizing the grid to promote conservation, guard against cyber-security breaches, and improve dependability —- particularly by undergrounding wires in neighborhoods with a high rate of power outages.  As we saw in the March 2018 Nor’easter, strategic undergrounding in the most vulnerable areas needs to be systematically carried out.  Not only is it important to have the ability to centrally pinpoint outages, but sophisticated equipment is affected by peak power demand brown-outs and the grid needs to be able to respond.

These considerations depend on robust professional financial review by the SCC in assuring that rates properly cover:

  • the service currently provided;

  • expenditures to maintain, improve, and maximize service; and

  • investments to achieve the most cost-effective, reliable service into the future.

Success in the 2018 General Assembly Legislative Session.

  • The General Assembly ended rate freezes as of January 1, 2018.

  • The General Assembly returned to regular rate reviews every 3 years.

  • The SCC can order refunds and rate cuts after just one — not two — consecutive periods of over-earnings and can do so in between aforementioned triennial reviews.

  • The General Assembly put an end to “double-dipping” that had included the value of investments already paid for in full by ratepayers in calculating a rate of return on those investments that was to be covered in setting future rates.

  • The General Assembly required the SCC to report back after each triennial review regarding solar, wind, and grid transformation, as a way to underscore the SCC’s responsibility to hold energy utilities accountable for achieving the goals that have been set and to establish an historic base for the SCC to enforce the provision that requires $50 million dollars a year in base rate reductions if investments in renewable energy and grid transformation are not made.

I stand with Clean Virginia, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and other environmentally conscious organizations in our Commonwealth. Dominion must be held accountable for keeping its $870 million commitment to energy efficiency. 'Lost revenues' won't cut it!

— Delegate Kaye Kory, March 2019

Advanced energy technology is the future of Virginia's economy.

​Virginians spend a relatively large portion of their income on electricity, some paying as much as 10 percent of their income just to keep the lights on.  I know our General Assembly can do better, which is why Virginia voters are ready for a clean energy economy.  According to the American Jobs Project (AJP) and Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VA LCV), a vast majority of voters in Virginia support legislative initiatives promoting consumer choice and energy independence — that includes net metering, third party electricity sales, minimizing clean energy red tape regulations, and investing in energy utilities and energy efficiency programs.  These policies would work to improve electric utility rates immensely and relieve some of Virginia's electricity burden.

 

The infrastructure for a clean energy economy is here.  Our Commonwealth is already first in the nation for data centers and half of all internet traffic goes through us.  Amazon, for example, when operating at full capacity will consume as much electricity annually as 1.4 million homes in Virginia.  While Amazon has pledged to use 100 percent renewable energy in the past, only 12 percent of electric utility provider operations are renewable as of 2019.  Shifting our fossil fuel energy economy to a clean energy economy would help businesses like Amazon reach their goals, provide incentives for more clean energy and advanced energy technology businesses to come to Virginia, reduce the size of our economic carbon footprint, and reduce the price of everyone's electricity bills at the same time.

 

Investing in advanced energy technology will send a clear signal: Virginia is open for business.  Our Commonwealth is already home to many solar industry businesses, including manufacturers, installation firms, and solar firms.  Investing in the growth of a clean solar energy economy benefits electric customers and solar energy providers both.  Our neighbors in North Carolina have already benefitted from investing in advanced energy technology after reforming their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by increasing investments 13-fold.  Their electric utility bills are cheaper, and the energy they use is cleaner.  North Carolina also saved and created over 20,000 jobs from 2007 to 2014 during a recession.  It's clear: Virginia needs a new RPS that increases investments in advanced energy technology.

 

A clean energy economy already exists in Virginia.  In fact, there are a total of over 95,000 people across our Commonwealth that are employed and working within Virginia's clean energy economy; over 78,000 energy efficiency jobs, over 4,000 solar jobs, over 1,600 wind jobs, and over 5,000 clean vehicle jobs (compared to roughly 8,000 coal industry jobs).  Investing in our clean energy economy will not only reduce the cost of our electricity and provide a cleaner source of energy, it will also increase job growth in our clean energy economy.  

Supporting the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition.

​I support the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition.  This plan aims to create thousands of clean energy economy jobs utilizing Virginia's growing advanced energy technology industry; it is a plan that will actually address and fight against climate change.

"The plan for a Green New Deal Virginia, to create thousands of good jobs addressing climate change and restoring Virginia's environment, will recognize that a statewide, industrial, economic mobilization of this scope and scale is an historic opportunity to eliminate poverty in the Commonwealth and to make prosperity, wealth, and economic security available to everyone participating in this transformation.  The following outlines the objectives for a Green New Deal Virginia:

Major Green New Deal Virginia policy themes:

  • A just and equitable 100% renewables plan that leaves no workers or communities behind;

  • Direct large investments and job-training programs in renewables, building an energy efficient smart-grid, residential and commercial energy efficiency, and more;

  • Clean water and air for all Virginians; and,

  • Investments in local-scale agriculture in communities across Virginia.

Green New Deal Virginia common goals:

  • Tens of thousands of high paying green jobs which would require strong enforcement of labor, workplace safety, wage standard, and the right to unionize;

  • Investing in and supporting farmers to expand sustainable locally sourced agriculture;

  • Transform Virginia towards clean energy self-sufficiency; and,

  • Creating a Commonwealth that provides for an equal opportunity for all communities to have clean air, water, and green energy."

Kaye's Conservation Accolades
Delegate Kory has been continually recognized for her work in the Virginia House of Delegates to defend our environment.

 

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6505 Waterway Drive

Falls Church, VA

© 2019 by Kaye Kory for Delegate.