Virginia

Virginia's Clean Energy Role

Our organization will help lead the conversation about the economic benefits of clean and renewable energy sources to Virginia’s economy. We educate policy makers and industry leaders on the benefits of clean energy development, and serve as a voice for the many conservatives who want to increase the choices and availability of clean energy sources in Virginia. Overwhelmingly, voters support policies in the Commonwealth to promote a true “all of the above” energy strategy.

Like many states, the Commonwealth is experiencing growth in the clean energy industry, which includes an increase in renewable energy sources. And yet, in the midst of a changing energy market coordinated action is required to position the Commonwealth as a leader in innovative energy generation and utilization. To compete for clean energy jobs and economic development, Virginia must continue to leverage its business-friendly climate, quality educational institutions, vast resources, and support policies to facilitate growth.

Virginia has seen recent growth in large utility-scale solar projects, driven in part by legislation approved in 2015 to declare 500MW of utility-scale solar in the public interest. In 2016, Dominion partnered with Amazon Web Services to bring online their first 80-megawatt solar facility in Accomack County. The 2018 legislative session was one of the most aggressive at advancing clean energy policies in recent history. As a result of the legislation, Virginia will see an unprecedented amount of clean energy put in the public interest, including solar, wind, and battery storage. Our grid will be modernized and transformed to accommodate the growth in clean energy. The Commonwealth will make great strides in improving energy efficiency programs, helping customers save money on their utility bills and reducing overall energy demand. Virginians will also have more rights to install solar on their own property.

There are many other opportunities for the development of clean energy here in Virginia. Whether related to energy efficiency, smaller distributed renewable energy, biofuels (methane-to-gas), wind power, or the advancement of new clean energy technologies, Virginia should continue to advance policies to support an “all-of-the-above” strategy that emphasizes clean energy growth.

Leadership

Christopher E. West | State Director

Richmond, VA

Chris brings a wealth of political, legislative, and communications experience as Executive Director. Prior to joining Conservatives for Clean Energy, Chris served as Director of Policy & Communications for Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell. In that role, he served as the official spokesman and media liaison for the Speaker and the House Majority Caucus, developed internal and external messaging materials, helped develop legislative strategy and supported floor operations, and worked with stakeholders to build support for legislative initiatives in the General Assembly.

Before joining the Speaker’s office, Chris served in several capacities with Congressman Robert Hurt from 2011 to 2015, who represented Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District. Chris first served as a Field Representative, representing the Congressman in eight localities in Central and Southern Virginia. He then went on to serve as a Legislative Aide to Congressman Hurt in Washington, D.C., advising the Congressman on issues related to healthcare, education, veterans, and social issues. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from Averett University in Danville, Virginia. Chris currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Averett University. Chris is also a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. Chris lives in Richmond and is an avid hiker, kayaker, and traveler.

Andrew Lamar | Advisor

Richmond, VA

Andrew brings over a decade of political and legislative experience to Conservatives for Clean Energy Virginia. He has served as Policy Advisor and Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs to the Governor of Virginia, where he helped develop legislative strategy and oversaw coordination between the Governor’s Office, the Cabinet, and the General Assembly to advance the Governor’s policy agenda. He was Campaign Manager for House Speaker Bill Howell, served on the record setting McDonnell for Governor campaign in 2009, and has advised several other successful candidates for state office here in Virginia.