See below for a press release from the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter about their new study “highlighting the corporate influence, revolving door lobbyists, regulatory conflicts of interest, and big banks behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.” A key finding is, not surprisingly, that “[Dominion Power] and its powerful CEO have used their deep pockets and political ties to advance their interests generally and around the pipeline.” Another key finding, getting at how Dominion Power corrupts Virginia’s government, is that “Dominion and its surrogates have deployed a band of private lobbyists who have backgrounds in government – including a former EPA official from the Obama administration.” And, of course, “State politicians in Virginia and North Carolina who have been publicly vocal about their support for the pipeline have been some of the biggest recipients of donations from its corporate backers.” Finally, note that “The powerful McGuireWoods firm, co-led by Tom Farrell’s influential brother-in-law, has also lobbied for Dominion on pipeline-related issues.” Truly appalling.
Public Accountability Initiative Exposes Corporate Powers Behind the Pipeline
Report Details Corporate Influences at Play in Approval of Atlantic Coast Pipeline
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter and Public Accountability Initiative partnered on a report released today highlighting the corporate influence, revolving door lobbyists, regulatory conflicts of interest, and big banks behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The report, Power behind the Pipelines: Atlantic Coast Pipeline, details the main forces driving the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline including the pipeline’s corporate backers, focusing on Richmond based Dominion Energy, who claim a 48 percent stake in the project.
“We need transparency to understand how the acts of corporations could quite literally shape the Virginia landscape,” Dr. Derek Seidman, a research analyst at the PAI, said. “Fossil fuel corporations tout what they deem as benefits of the pipeline, but in reality the corporations use their strategically placed influences to advance their own interests in the name of profit.”
The possible construction of the pipeline endangers fragile environments and jeopardizes the security of community members along its projected route through mountaintop removal and damaged land values. While corporate supporters claim benefits of the pipeline, environmentalists and community members criticize it as superfluous and dangerous.
“Another source of fracked gas is completely unnecessary to Virginian industries and communities, making it clear that the reason for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is nothing more than corporate greed,” Kirk Bowers, Pipeline Program Coordinator with the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter said. “What’s more, the proposed construction of the pipeline would threaten Virginian communities and destroy the natural environment.”
The proposed pipeline is currently being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and should be completed this fall, which will allow approval from the Trump Administration for construction to begin.
The report can be found here: http://vasierra.club/acpreport