Yesterday we shared an article about how Virginia is the first southern state to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. Today, we take a deeper look at how companies in the state played a critical role in passing the landmark Virginia Clean Economy Act.
Numerous clean energy businesses, environmental groups, grassroots groups, and lawmakers came together to craft the bill, but they were also aided by many companies who are not in the energy sector. Eight major companies: Akamai Technologies, IKEA North America Services, Kaiser Permanente, Mars, Nestlé USA, Schneider Electric, Unilever, and Worthen Industries, signed a letter of support for the bill. Others, including Mars, Microsoft, Nestlé, and Salesforce wrote a letter to the capital, thanking them for passing the legislation.
Corporate voices are incredibly powerful when it comes to enacting legislative change. Their opinions represent economic interests and sway in the state. Corporate support of pro-environmental legislation that supports emissions reductions and renewable energy paves the way for more states to adopt green policies and for companies themselves to implement sustainable practices.
Encouraged by Virginia, Illinois is now considering its own 100 percent clean energy bill, the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Additionally, Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have been negotiating the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), which would institute a cap-and-invest program for transportation emissions across the 12-state region and D.C.