For nearly 30 years I have practiced law as an environmental lawyer. I’ve worked at Hunton & Williams, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Environmental Quality, and Dominion Energy.
Occasionally, when people find out that I worked for Dominion, my credentials as an environmentalist are questioned. I want to take a moment here to answer the concerns some might have. Because the reality is that, rather than a detriment, my time at Dominion is a powerful advantage in the fight to protect the environment and make Virginia a leader in clean energy production.
Let me start by sharing some of the work I did prior to joining Dominion. My practice has encompassed almost every aspects of environmental law including air pollution control, air toxics, water protection, wetlands, solid and hazardous waste management, landfills, Superfund, endangered species, and sewage treatment. Mary Sue Terry hired me as an assistant attorney general on the environmental team at the Attorney General’s Office, where I litigated enforcement cases against polluters, argued before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and co-wrote a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. I was then hired as the enforcement director at DEQ, where I worked on proposed environmental laws and regulations, drafted portions of DEQ’s enforcement manual, and negotiated enforcement orders to make polluters comply with the law. At the AG’s Office, , I
I joined Dominion as an environmental lawyer responsible for advising them on how to stay in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. I also helped Dominion acquire solar energy facilities as they expanded their renewables portfolio, and I briefly worked on Dominion’s offshore wind project. I know first hand how the company works and much of what motivates it, all of which I will use in bringing all stakeholders to the table to solve our environmental challenges.
I believe that Virginia must be a leader in renewables. In 2017 the General Assembly passed 11 clean energy bills that were signed into law by Governor McAuliffe. We should all be proud of this effort, but so much more needs to be done and I promise you, if elected, I will fight to make that happen. We need to enact laws that include a mandatory renewable portfolio standard and that make our regulatory scheme work better at approving renewable projects. This is not a point of compromise.
I have learned over my many years of practicing environmental law, however, that our goals cannot be attained in a vacuum. By their very nature, our lives leave footprints everywhere we go, and we must look at our impact from a holistic perspective. That is why we have to be vigilant, not only with Dominion, but with every business, company, and activity that impacts the environment. Transportation, for example, is the leading source of carbon dioxide emissions in Virginia. Transportation and other construction projects, agricultural practices, municipal stormwater and sewerage system issues, and industrial and energy production activities all result in some level of pollution and we must monitor and address the impacts of all of these activities.
It is time we elect someone who has the knowledge and experience to call out Republicans, climate change deniers, and companies when they fail to stand up for clean air, land, and water. My knowledge and experience makes me uniquely qualified for the job. Together we will fight Trump’s Republicans here in Virginia who will push to roll back our environmental laws and make it easier for corporations to profit with fewer environmental safeguards.
- I will vote for meaningful renewable energy mandates and a workable regulatory system that supports clean energy.
- I will fight to ensure that the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is fully implemented and enforced.
- I will work for more environmentally sound transportation infrastructure, and promote energy efficiency and conservation.
- For as long as I serve as your Delegate, you will always have a voice at the table and I will work every day with folks from all sides to find comprehensive solutions.
If you believe it’s time to have a Delegate who will listen, who will fight, who will work with everyone, and who will find solutions, then join me, and together we can turn the 68th blue.