Energy Policies in Virginia and the DMV

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Energy Policies in Virginia and the DMV

South East Chapter

September 25, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Join us for a lively virtual discussion with energy experts on regional energy policy and the growing business climate for clean, affordable energy in the DMV. The exciting new Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA 2020) will be showcased and panelists will discuss trends in demand side management and renewable energy to achieve our environmental and economic goals. JR Tolbert will provide a regional overview as a representative of the other AEE (Advanced Energy Economy), and Chelsea Harnish and John Morrill will discuss their involvement in the development of the VCEA and decarbonization in Virginia. 

Chelsea Harnish is the Executive Director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC), which serves as the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Since 2015, Chelsea oversees all VAEEC operations and strategic initiatives, including programs, policy, communications, membership, and events. With over a decade of Virginia energy policy experience, Chelsea regularly engages with decision-makers, partners, and members to advance energy efficiency policies and programs that will help grow the industry throughout the Commonwealth. Prior to joining the VAEEC, Chelsea worked for several environmental nonprofits, honing her skills in campaign planning, communication and advocating for clean energy policy initiatives. Chelsea received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina and her Master’s degree in Marine Science from Boston University.
John Morrill is the Energy Manager for Arlington County, Virginia. He helped establish and now co-leads the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE), the County’s award-winning climate action program. Prior to joining Arlington County, John held several research and management positions during 17 years with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). John serves on the Board (and is Vice Chair) of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC), a not-for-profit membership organization advancing energy efficiency throughout the Commonwealth.
J.R. Tolbert is the Managing Director for the Advanced Energy Economy. He manages AEE’s state legislative program in eastern states to advance a carbon free electricity grid, as well as oversees the organizations program to build the political strength of the advanced energy industry. J.R. was heavily involved in AEE’s support for the Virginia Clean Economy Act requiring the Commonwealth’s power sector to be 100% carbon free by 2050 and has led successful campaigns to expand renewables and energy efficiency in Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania over the past four years. Prior to AEE, J.R. was the Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators where he led the development of the Conservation Clearinghouse and the Chesapeake Bay initiative, including membership growth and fundraising. J.R. also led legislative efforts for the Virginia Sierra Club and served the Public Interest Network as an Environment Virginia State Advocate. J.R. graduated from Auburn University in 2001.

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