Virginia

Virginia's Clean Energy Role

Our organization helps 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

Ron Butler | State Director

Richmond, VA

Ron Butler serves as the State Director for Conservatives for Clean Energy – Virginia.  A nationally recognized political professional, Ron works to educate Virginians about the benefits of clean energy, and with local conservative leaders who believe clean energy is an important part of the ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy.

Ron was founding partner of Creative Direct, one of the largest and most successful Republican voter contact firms in the nation. Under Ron’s leadership, Creative Direct played a pivotal role in some of the biggest Republican victories across the nation including many U.S. Senators, Governors, members of Congress and state elected offices.

Prior to forming Creative Direct, Ron served as political director for the Republican Party of Virginia, field director for the Republican National Committee, as well as running campaigns for statewide offices.   He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife Elizabeth, who serves on the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee.   They have two college aged children attending VCU and VMI.

Click here to email Ron Butler

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.

Conservative leaders join CCE-VA Advisory Board

Conservatives for Clean Energy – VA announced a new six-member advisory board comprised of conservative rising stars as well as long-time stalwarts. “The members CCE-VA advisory board represent the brightest and most accomplished conservative leaders in Virginia,” said CCE-VA executive director Ron Butler. “Their participation demonstrates that clean energy is an issue that crosses ideological lines.”

Conservatives for Clean Energy Virginia Advisory Board

Meredith Allen

Meredith Allen serves as the Political Director for OnMessage Inc., one of the most successful Republican media and advertising firms in the country. In this role, Meredith focuses on the firm’s Senate, House, and Super PAC clients. During the 2020 cycle, Meredith had the pleasure of working on 7 of the 15 U.S. House races that Republicans flipped from Blue to Red.

In addition to her work with OnMessage, Meredith also serves as the Executive Director of the Virginia Dogwood Institute, a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) that is committed to creating and promoting evidence-based, innovative, public policy.

Prior to joining OnMessage, Meredith ran a top tier delegate race in Virginia, worked with Chiefs of Staff and Members of Congress as the 2018 NRCC Political Coordinator and Women’s Engagement Director, and coordinated the media teams and 73 million in spending for the 2016 NRCC IE.

Matt Moran

After graduating from the University of Virginia Matt Moran quickly became a top advisor to two Virginia House Speakers and represented clients across multiple industries in front of the General Assembly.

Matt joined the office of Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell as a top advisor for communications and policy in 2012. Matt went on to work for 2017 Republican Gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie and served as Chief of Staff to Speaker Kirk Cox. He currently advises Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and other federal and state candidates across the country on policy and communications strategy.

Matt has also represented numerous corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies, national, regional, and state-level trade associations, and non-profits across multiple industries. He has experience running policy and public affairs campaigns related to business, health care, energy, transportation, insurance and financial regulation, construction and real estate development, gaming, cannabis, criminal justice, and technology.

A founding partner of the public affairs firm LINK, Matt develops comprehensive public affairs strategies using his political, public policy, and communications experience to solve problems for clients.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas is one the most well respected, longest serving conservative leaders in Virginia. Currently Mike is a senior vice president of Virginia state government relations for McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. In total, he has spent 24 years as First Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia, and 13 years before that as a member of the State Central Committee.

Mike has spent countless hours since his days as Chairman of the University of Richmond Young Republicans assisting conservative causes. Mike has been an aide over the years to U.S. Senator Paul Trible, U.S. Senator John Warner, and Congressman Tom Bliley and has helped organize and manage grassroots operations for dozens of state, local and federal elected officials and candidates.

Mike was campaign manager for the successful George Allen for Governor and as secretary of administration in Governor George Allen’s cabinet.

Mike served as state director and chief of staff for U.S. Senator George Allen. As state director, he managed the staff and five regional offices throughout the Commonwealth and worked with individuals, businesses, state and local government organizations.

At McGuire Woods Consulting, LLC, Mike provides senior-level insight to clients on legislative, regulatory or administrative issues at the state and local level in Virginia and in other states focuses his practice on government relations, grassroots/grasstops, issues management and technology matters.

Thomas Turner

Thomas Turner is Young Republican National Federation, Southern Regional Vice Chair having previous served as Virginia Young Republican Federation Chairman. Thomas was the founding Chairman of the Western Tidewater Young Republicans organization covering Chesapeake Suffolk, Franklin, and the counties of: Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex. Turner also served on the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia.

A well-known conservative activist, Thomas has organized grassroots teams to assist campaigns in Virginia and up and down the east coast.

A 2012 graduate of Liberty University, Thomas also received a Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership and Business from Liberty and completed the University of Virginia Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership Program. Thomas works for the Circuit Court in Suffolk, Virginia.

Lee Vogler

Lee Vogler was elected to Danville City Council in May 2012, becoming the youngest person ever elected to that position, at age 24. A native of Southside Virginia, Mr. Vogler graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He is currently employed as the Director of Sales & Marketing for Andrew Brooks Media Group.

As a member of Danville City Council for the past 9 years Lee Vogler has been responsible for the oversight and management of Danville Utilities, the largest municipal electric utility in Virginia. During this time Vogler supported unprecedented investments in solar and renewable energy sources. In just the past three years there have been three utility-scale solar projects come online in the Danville/Pittsylvania region and a fourth is in scheduled to be completed this year. Today the Danville/Pittsylvania region is an example of how quickly clean energy can become a major power source.

Lee has promoted clean energy solutions throughout Virginia as a member of the CCE – VA Advisory Board since 2017. His opinion editorial celebrating National Clean Energy Week in 2019 was read across the Commonwealth.