Home Energy and Environment “Dominion’s stranglehold on Virginia’s climate action cannot stand.”

“Dominion’s stranglehold on Virginia’s climate action cannot stand.”


I know we’re all focused on the presidential and Congressional elections, but meanwhile, other important stuff is going on as well. Or, in the case of Dominion “Global Warming Starts Here!” Power, other important stuff (e.g., the transition from a climate-killing, dirty-energy economy to a clean and sustainable one) is NOT going on, as it’s being blocked by Dominion and its bought-and-paid-for Virginia General Assembly, captured regulatory authorities, etc.

Two recent examples highlights how this toxic, corrupt company works.

First, over at the blog Dominion actually SPONSORS (!), there’s a beyond-laughable article touting a new “study” (in quotes because it is nothing more than a fossil fuel propaganda screed) by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (more on these clowns in a second). The “study” begins by referencing a fictional, non-existent “newly enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) require Virginia’s utilities to produce a specific amount of electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.” It then proceeds to trash this figment of their imagination, absurdly claiming that for Virginia to even reach 6% renewable energy by 2025, “Virginia electric rates on consumers will increase, five percent in 2016, another 10% by 2025, and between seven percent and nine percent each year thereafter.”

WTF? As Ivy Main responds to the latest fossil fuel Big Lies/propaganda (bolding added by me for emphasis):

Surely you all realize that this study is made up of imaginary facts? Virginia does not have a mandatory RPS, and the EPA has not imposed one on us. Why are you people wasting time discussing a bogus study? And Mr. Bacon, get a grip. You know we have no RPS. The fact that Dominion is funding your site surely doesn’t come with an agreement to promote the fossil fuel industry with studies based on premises you know to be invented out of whole cloth.

This laughable “study” deserves a thorough trashing, and I hope that happens soon. In the meantime, I’d refer you to some information on the “Thomas Jefferson Institute”:

The Thomas Jefferson Institute is a libertarian/right-wing think tank committed to “free markets, limited government and individual responsibility.” It is funded heavily by the Roe Foundation, a South Carolina-based which provides “financial support to free-market policy groups across the country” and which gives out its annual Roe Award to the likes of Grover Norquist and to others from right-wing groups like the Independence Institute (proud global warming deniers), the Reason Foundation (for years, global warming deniers who received funding from ExxonMobil), and the big-time global warming deniers at the Heartland Institute.


Finally, it’s important to point out that the Thomas Jefferson Institute is a member of the far-far-far-right-wing State Policy Network:

The State Policy Network (SPN) has franchised, funded, and fostered a growing number of “mini Heritage Foundations” at the state level since the early 1990s. It describes itself as a network and service organization for the “state-based free market think tank movement,” and its stated mission is “to provide strategic assistance to independent research organizations devoted to discovering and developing market-oriented solutions to state and local public policy issues.”…The founding chairman of the board and a major funder was Thomas A. Roe (1927-2000), and the founding executive director was Byron S. Lamm. In the mid-1980s, Roe allegedly told fellow wealthy conservative donor and Heritage Foundation trustee Robert Krieble, “You capture the Soviet Union — I’m going to capture the states.”…Fueled by robust funding from right-wing funders including the Koch brothers, the Bradley Foundation, the anonymous wealthy donors to the donor-advised funds of DonorsTrust, and others.

So, yeah, not surprising that these @#@!ers would spend their Koch-sucking money trashing renewable energy, even as the International Energy Agency ramps up its forecast for clean energy (as costs plummet and technology improves by leaps and bounds) and as wind power alone could supply 41% of global electricity demand by 2050. Anyway, again, everything they say is false, distorted, wildly biased, and absolutely NOT to be taken seriously. The fact that a Dominion Power-sponsored blog saw fit to take it seriously really says it all about Dominion, and why that company needs to be dismantled – or at least reined in sharply – ASAP!

Second, check out this new article by the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Action Network and an energy analyst at the  Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The article justifiably trashes Dominion Power as “Dirty Energy Bullies” who are “blocking the transition to renewable energy.” Why? Because they “already own fossil-fuel-based electric generation and they want to squeeze as much profit as possible from their own assets.” Of course, this antiquated, centralized, top-down, 20th-century model is rapidly collapsing, and Dominion would be wise to move off of it fast, but…noooooo, of course not! Because, again, Dominion is greedy, short-sighted, stupid, and has corrupted our state’s political system. To stop them is going to require people power, such as the recent March on the Mansion by a coalition of Virginia environmental groups. The bottom line, as the new article states, is clear: “Dominion’s stranglehold on Virginia’s climate action cannot stand.” If Virginia’s elected “leaders” won’t take decisive action to break that stranglehold, then we the people must demand it.

Now, back to the 2016 election, where one party (the Party of Trump) denies climate science and bashes clean energy solutions while the other (the Democrats) might not be perfect, but certainly accept climate science and the need to move towards a clean energy economy. The problem is that there are still some Democrats who coddle the fossil fuel companies and fossil-fired utilities like Dominion Power. That part of the party needs to be told, in no uncertain terms, shape up or ship the hell out!

  • True Blue

    Virginia and Dominion; Trump and Dakota Pipeline Access Company…

    “Jesse Coleman, a researcher at Greenpeace, said Trump seems to know “very little” about energy policies other than to side with wealthy fossil fuel interests.”

    ““Trump likes to say he’s an outsider candidate but he’s very close to fossil fuel tycoons and accepts campaign donations from them,” he said. “[Kelcy] Warren wants powerful people to be sympathetic to his business plans and donating to them is his MO.”


  • Jabacon

    Lowell, There are two ways to discuss pressing public policy issues. One is to accurately portray your opponent’s argument and then address the facts and logic contained in the argument. The other is to misrepresent the argument, thereby setting up an unrecognizable straw man. You have done the latter, and you have done your readers a major disservice.

    As I noted in the first paragraph, “You may or may not accept the study’s conclusion. … Frankly, those who want to believe the numbers will believe them, and those who don’t want to believe them will not. Experts can argue all day about the assumptions, methodologies, models and data inputs that go into studies like this and none of it will mean anything to politicians or the public. … I’m in no position to appraise Consadine’s methodology for arriving at these numbers. I’m sure that RPS advocates could poke holes in his approach, that Consadine could rebut them, and that the RPS advocates could counter the rebuttal. ”

    Is that enough disclaimers for you?

    The point of my post was to raise an arcane question buried in the body of the study. Even if your sole priority driving energy policy is reducing CO2 emissions, you have to confront the author’s finding that the cost of reducing CO2 emissions through Renewable Portfolio Standards outweighs the social benefit (as determined by the EPA) by a ratio of ten to one.

    I wrote: “While Virginians need not accept Consadine’s numbers at face value — it is always important to subject such studies to critical analysis — we should embrace the concept of ‘cost per ton of CO2 reduced,’ we should seek to identify the most cost-effective means to cut CO2 emissions, and we should debate whether it makes sense to implement policies that cost more than the EPA’s estimated social cost. Finally, we should recognize the reality that policies that might make sense in other states might not make sense here.”

    Your polemic did not address the central point of the blog post. Instead of addressing the arguments, you launched into a screed series of ad hominem attacks and guilt-by-association arguments. If all else fails, find a connection to the evil Koch brothers! Your unwillingness to address what my post actually says suggests to me that you have no arguments worth considering and that name calling is your only recourse.

    Your misleading screed may reassure the true believers who follow Blue Virginia but it won’t have any influence at all on the people fashioning energy policy in Virginia, who actually do take the trouble to understand the complex trade-offs between cost, reliability and environmental sustainability. Environmentalists have a lot to contribute to shaping the electric grid for the 21st century. Your foaming-at-the-mouth rhetoric doesn’t make their job any easier.