Ivy Main

Ivy Main

Ivy Main is a lawyer and a longtime volunteer with the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter. A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee, she is currently the Sierra Club's renewable energy chairperson. Her opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of any organization.


Law? What law? Pandering to the governor, Dominion’s new plan ignores Virginia’s climate law

By: - May 10, 2023

Last December, Dominion Energy produced a remarkable document: a climate report predicting that by 2040 its electricity supply will be dominated by renewable energy. Coal will be gone by 2030, and methane gas will hang around in ever-smaller amounts, just to fill in the energy gaps. Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) probably won’t play a […]


Is hydrogen a miracle solution for climate, or the new ethanol?

By: - April 25, 2023

The hydrogen gold rush is on. Spurred by the urgency of the climate crisis, and attracted by generous incentives in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, companies ranging from oil majors to small start-ups are pouring money into the Next Big Thing in energy: a fuel that is flexible, transportable and carbon-free.  Is hydrogen a critical […]


It’s time for Virginia to plan its next offshore wind farm

By: - April 10, 2023

Virginia’s first commercial offshore wind farm is on track to start construction next year and to be fully operational in 2026.  The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project being developed by Dominion Energy will be the single largest offshore wind farm in the U.S. and among the first full-scale commercial wind projects built in U.S. […]


Yes, RGGI works

By: - March 29, 2023

At the heart of the political fight over Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a seemingly simple question: does a requirement that Virginia power plants pay for the right to spew CO2 actually lower CO2 emissions? Critics argue no; supporters say yes. There is evidence for both, but in the long […]


Dominion’s electricity bills are keeping customers in the dark

By: - March 16, 2023

A seemingly simple question came across my desk a few weeks ago: What does Dominion Energy Virginia charge residents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)? Given how frequently I write about Dominion, I was embarrassed not to have a quick answer. In my own defense, though, Dominion makes it hard to find out. And when you do find […]


A dog, a food fight and other energy highlights from the 2023 General Assembly session

By: - March 2, 2023

For followers of Virginia energy policy, 2023 will be remembered as the year Dominion Energy lost its stranglehold on the General Assembly. The utility’s all-out campaign to boost its return on equity earned it little more than crumbs. By contrast, a bill to return authority over rates to the State Corporation Commission garnered overwhelming support.  […]


Building more Virginia data centers requires increased pollution controls

By: - February 15, 2023

In 2019, with Northern Virginia’s data center boom well underway, I worked with the Sierra Club to provide comments to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on a proposed major source air permit for a data center.  We urged that the data center, owned by Digital Realty, be required to minimize its reliance on highly-polluting, […]


The gas stove culture wars come to Virginia

By: - February 7, 2023

Gas stoves have been in the headlines a lot recently. On the heels of a study quantifying their contribution to childhood asthma, Consumer Product Safety Commission member Rich Trumka, Jr. issued a tweet suggesting the agency might take them off the market, a comment he later walked back.  Too late: cue the outrage from the […]


These bills could bring more clean energy to your community

By: - January 26, 2023

Solar schools, climate resiliency, energy efficiency: Local governments are now involved in energy planning – whether they feel ready for it or not. Some localities have adopted climate goals that require them to look for ways to lower carbon emissions; others just want to save money on high energy bills. Virginia has chipped away at […]


Attacks on Virginia’s climate laws are front and center at the General Assembly

By: - January 18, 2023

Every year I do a round-up of climate and energy bills at the start of the General Assembly session. This year, as expected, Republicans continue their assault on the hallmark legislation passed in 2020 and 2021 committing Virginia to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. In addition, this year features the usual assortment of bills doing […]


Dominion Energy’s Climate Report confirms the future of power is renewable

By: - January 6, 2023

When the Virginia General Assembly convenes next week for the 2023 session, Republicans will once again try to undo the commonwealth’s framework for a transition to renewable energy. Led by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, they will attack Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) and continue seeking ways […]


Virginia has a data center problem

By: - December 9, 2022

Actually, Virginia has several data center problems. One seems like a good problem to have, at least if you are a locality looking to attract business. Data centers pay a lot of local taxes while requiring little in the way of local services, and the steady buildout has supported thousands of construction jobs across the […]