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Video: Hearing on Pipelines Bill Highlights Dominion’s Continued Sway, “Virginia Way” at Its Slimiest

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The following video, of the debate yesterday of Sen. John Edwards’ SB324 (“prohibits a natural gas company from entering upon property for such purposes unless the State Corporation Commission (Commission) has issued to it a public use certification, which may be issued only if the Commission finds, among other things, that the company has demonstrated that the pipeline or facility is for a public use”) demonstrates a few things about the Virginia General Assembly:

1) Dominion Energy continues to rule the roost there, with many of the Senate’s members (e.g., Sen. Frank Wagner, who chairs the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee and is one of Dominion’s main tools in the Virginia General Assembly) effectively bought and paid for by our pals at the powerful, state-“regulated” monopoly utility;

2) While Republicans are certainly the main problem in the Virginia General Assembly on most issues, there are Democrats – Dick Saslaw, for instance – who are not exactly our friends when it comes to issues like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline;

3) To an extent, “all politics is local,” as demonstrated by Sen. John Edwards and Del. Chris Hurst being leaders on this issue (since there’s a lot of opposition to having pipelines coming across their land by people living in Edwards’ and Hurst’s districts) and also by Sen. Lionell Spruill’s anger at the way his constituents are being treated by Dominion;

4) But to an even greater extent, it appears that when it comes to Dominion, “all politics is local” is trumped by…how to put this delicately…uh yeah, big-time $$$$;

5) Note that on this issue, those $$$$ make very strange bedfellows, with the soulless lobbyist from Dominion Energy (Bill Murray, and not the funny one either) joining the soulless lobbyist from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Ryan Dunn), the soulless lobbyist for the pipeline company (David Ogburn from Capital Results), the soulless lobbyist for the unions who want the pipelines built (former VA-10 Democratic Chair Charlie Jackson), the soulless lobbyist for Columbia Gas (Connor Woodrich), the soulless lobbyist for Virginia Natural Gas (Rachelle Whitacre), and the soulless lobbyist for the Virginia Oil and Gas Association (Julia Ciarlo Hammond) – barf;

6) Note how even when Sen. Spruill calls out Dominion for being wrong on this issue, he goes out of his way to say that he considers the folks from Dominion to be his “friends,” and to emphasize how he’s supported Dominion and the gas company for 24 years – this is VERY VERY revealing about how our General Assembly (and the corrupt “Virginia Way”) works!;

7) Finally, while Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Dominion) is particularly disgusting in his slavishness vis-a-vis Dominion, the people sitting next to him and voting with him – Sen. Dick Saslaw, Sen. Tommy Norment, Sen. Ben Chafin, etc. – are really just as slavish and slimy.

And on that cheery note, enjoy the video! LOL