Conservatives for Clean Energy named Christopher E. West as Executive Director for Virginia. West is the former director of policy and communications for Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell. He will lead Conservatives for Clean Energy efforts in Virginia, which was initially formed in late 2016. Conservatives for Clean Energy is a 501c(3) that seeks to educate the public on the benefits of clean and renewable energy sources.
“We are excited to have Chris on board to lead our efforts in Virginia, said Mark Fleming, President & CEO of Conservatives for Clean Energy. “Conservatives for Clean Energy launched our Virginia program last year and we are starting to see great results already. As we work to spur clean energy growth in Virginia, Chris’ strong relationships in the General Assembly and across the Commonwealth will serve us well.”
Support for clean energy is growing in Virginia. In a 2016 statewide public opinion poll, over 65 percent of voters stated their desire to see Virginia’s leaders put more emphasis on solar energy and wind energy, including a majority of self-identified conservatives. Across party lines, voters are much more likely to support a candidate for elected office who backs clean energy development.
Private sector demand for clean energy is also on the rise. Virginia businesses are increasingly asking for clean energy. Last year, a group of 18 major corporations in Virginia sent a letter to state legislators and the State Corporation Commission asking for “an explicit legal framework” to expand access to renewable energy. A 2016 report by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) found that 71 of the Fortune 100 companies currently have renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 companies just two years ago.
“Now is the time for Virginia conservatives to embrace clean energy,” said West. “Voters overwhelmingly support clean energy development and want their elected officials and candidates for office to support clean energy too. When compared to some of our neighboring states, Virginia lags significantly behind when it comes to clean energy development. If we want to stay competitive and grow our economy, we must embracing and grow our clean energy economy. I look forward to working with leaders across the Commonwealth of Virginia to address this gap and move Virginia in the right direction.”
Chris West to lead efforts in Virginia. Chris previously served as Director of Policy and Communications for House Republican Caucus. Learn more about Chris’s background and experience.