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.


Yeah, I’m not perfect either. Pass the Clean Economy Act.

By: - February 24, 2020

When it was first introduced, and before the utilities and special interests got their grubby little paws on it, the Clean Economy Act was an ambitious and far-reaching overhaul of Virginia energy policy that turned a little timid when it came to particulars.  Sausage-making ensued.  The bill that emerged from the grinder inevitably allows Dominion […]


Both this session’s big energy omnibus bills could be better

By: - January 14, 2020

Climate and energy activists have been pinning their hopes on the 2020 legislative session to produce a framework for transitioning our economy to 100 percent carbon-free energy. After years of talking big but delivering little in the way of carbon reductions and clean energy, the General Assembly is under pressure to finally deliver. Much of […]

Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

The strange case of thermal energy

By: - January 7, 2020

Renewable energy advocates are hoping that 2020 will be the year Virginia finally begins to make wind and solar the centerpiece of its energy planning, rather than a grudging add-on. The General Assembly will consider at least two bills that adopt a mandatory renewable portfolio standard as well as legislation to lower carbon emissions and […]

Enviva Southampton biomass plant

What’s not to like about biomass? Deforestation, pollution and overpriced power.

By: - December 2, 2019

What if you could get your electricity from a fuel that destroys forests, produces more air pollution than coal, and is priced higher than alternatives? “Wow, sign me up!” you would not say, because as a sane person you don’t like deforestation, pollution and overpriced power.  Also, because you are not Dominion Energy Virginia. Dominion […]

The State Corporation Commission

Green power for suckers program gets SCC approval

By: - November 8, 2019

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission has approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s request to offer a new product to electric utility customers who want to buy renewable energy at a discount but lack the knowledge to understand when they are being taken for chumps.  “Rider REC” is an ultra-cheap version of the company’s Green Power Program (itself of […]


Virginia is all-in on offshore wind but Dominion’s decision raises questions about cost, competence

By: - November 4, 2019

It’s not every day that the names of a major utility and the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization share space on a banner. But at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual offshore wind conference earlier this month in Boston, the logos of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Dominion Energy bookended those of […]


On energy efficiency, unfortunately, utilities remain in the driver’s seat

By: - October 11, 2019

There’s bad news for Virginians looking to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels: The job just got 2% harder. That’s the percentage increase in electricity use in Virginia over the past year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).  The increase was driven by the continuation of a three-year upward trend in […]


A closer look at a cascade of clean energy announcements in Virginia

By: - September 27, 2019

Is Virginia off to the clean energy races? Last week saw a cascade of clean energy announcements in Virginia. On Tuesday, Governor Northam issued an Executive Order aimed at achieving 30 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050, and with near-term state procurement targets.  On Thursday, Dominion Energy announced it […]

Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Ignoring state climate rules, Dominion decides what carbon regulations should look like

By: - September 13, 2019

For several years now, Dominion Energy Virginia has factored into its plans an assumption that electricity from carbon-emitting power plants will eventually include a cost reflecting CO2’s role as the primary driver of global warming. Dominion says it has even integrated this into its corporate goals, targeting an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by […]


On climate change, we’re all in this together

By: - August 21, 2019

Chances are, the people you know who call themselves environmentalists also celebrate racial diversity and think the U.S. should welcome immigrants and refugees. What, then, are we to make of white nationalists who invoke environmental concerns to justify acts of violence against immigrants? Recent news articles tell us the suspect in the El Paso massacre […]


Fairfax County plans a historic solar buy—if Dominion Energy doesn’t stand in the way

By: - August 1, 2019

In June, Fairfax County announced it was seeking proposals from solar companies to install solar at up to 130 county-owned facilities and schools, with another 100 sites to be considered for a later round. The request for proposals (RFP) covers solar on building roofs, ground-mounted solar and solar canopies over parking lots. This massive solar […]


Dominion Energy’s new programs are really about limiting choices

By: - July 22, 2019

An annual survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities shows concern about climate change is surging. Seventy-three percent of Americans think climate change is happening, and 69% are at least somewhat worried about it, the highest percentages since the surveys began in 2011.  Another Yale survey found that “a large majority of registered voters […]