Vast majority of Virginia voters oppose naming an oil and gas lobbyist to the State Corporation Commission

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lee Francis | Communications Manager
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(804) 225-1902 |

RICHMOND – Recently, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters commissioned an online poll to determine where Virginians stand on one of the most important appointments when it comes to clean energy expansion in the commonwealth.

The poll, completed within the past three weeks, found that of the registered Virginia voters polled (763 of 1,000 respondents), fewer than 9 percent responded they could support naming an oil and gas lobbyist to the State Corporation Commission and fewer than 10 percent would support appointing a health insurance lobbyist.

“One thing is now clear: citizens don’t want a fox guarding the henhouse. They want independent leadership and oversight on the panel responsible for either setting Virginia on the path to a cleaner energy future, or maintaining our state’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels,” said Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. “This decision is currently in the hands of lawmakers, and we hope they choose wisely before bogging down the SCC with a special interest lobbyist they might later regret.”

Currently, the State Corporation Commission, which regulates the electricity and health insurance sectors, among many other industries, is short one judge. This panel plays a key role in signing off on renewable energy projects and energy efficiency programs, a role that will be critical over the next decade as a massive clean energy expansion gets underway.

John Watkins recently announced he was out of the running for this post and he endorsed the only remaining candidate, David Clarke. Clarke has lobbied on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, health insurance providers and a list of other clients that would also be directly impacted by future SCC decisions.

Full results of the poll can be accessed here.

About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit