Dominion VA Power’s most recent brilliant idea for turning Virginia into an energy independent Mecca that the world over can envy comes in the form of a $1.1 billion natural gas-fired power plant in Southside Virginia.
If approved by Virginia’s “regulators,” that natural gas ship would start sailing (and polluting) in 2016.
While natural gas is a better energy alternative than the coal-fired power plants at Dominion’s Chesapeake Energy Center in Chesapeake and Yorktown Power Station that Dominion publicly announced it would close by 2016, natural gas is still a significant greenhouse gas threat and it’s unclear how long natural gas can fill Virginia’s energy needs in any meaningful way.
True energy independence is of course achieved through the use of solar and wind technology to harness the Earth’s natural sources of energy. So if Dominion VA Power is serious about energy independence, where are the $1.1 billion investments in these two energy sources?
As a state condoned monopoly on large portions of Virginia’s energy consumers, doesn’t Dominion VA Power have a moral obligation to generate clean and renewable sources of energy as soon as possible?
Of course, Dominion does, and it has attempted to shrug off this moral obligation to promote cleaner energy at just about every turn.
Proponents of the newly proposed natural gas plant will however point out that Virginia does have substantial reserves of natural gas in Virginia. Really, where are the numbers to support this claim?
Proponents will also argue that the new plant will create jobs. But unless these individuals think that wind mills and solar panels are manufactured and maintained in a vacuum, so too will the construction of these clean energy sources create jobs throughout the commonwealth.
Some of those in favor of the new natural gas plant proposal by Dominion VA Power will also say, “wind and solar cannot supply all of Virginia’s s energy needs.” Perhaps, but the tactics being undertaken to “green” Virginia’s energy supply haven’t come near the point of realizing Virginia’s true clean energy potential.
Doing so would no doubt cut into the bottom-line of Dominion and its fellow energy monopolizers in Virginia.
We hear the usual talk of revenue generation, job growth, houses covered by the new energy plant, and so on. What we don’t hear about is the concern for our children’s futures, for the future of our country, and for the future of our planet. Are these ideas too abstract to be of immediate significance? Do we simply not care anymore about what happens tomorrow as a country?
If we still do care, it’s time to tell Dominion VA Power, Appalachian Power Company, and Virginia’s power cooperatives that clean energy is the future, and it’s our future to decide, not Dominion’s or any other utility in Virginia.