UPDATE: See below for an update, Monday morning, courtesy of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), which writes: “On Sunday, May 20, a group of activists protested Dominion Energy’s annual Riverrock festival to stand against its role in Virginia’s political system and draw attention to the dangers that would come with its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The activists flew kites with messages opposing Dominion Energy and its proposed fracked-gas pipeline.”
According to Dominion Energy and Propaganda, its Riverrock festival is “a three-day celebration of sports, music and river life in Richmond, VA. May 19-21, 2017.” But according to the folks commenting on the Riverrock Facebook page, it’s something quite different – and far less benign. So far, there are 34 reviews — 32 “1 star” (the lowest), 1 “2 star” (second lowest) and 3 “5 star” (the highest). As for the comments, here are some highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis):
- “I will boycott Riverrock because Dominion’s role in the our environment and community equates to leaching coal ash ponds, a destructive, unnecessary pipeline that will destroy VA’s watersheds and a constant manipulation of our legislature. Attaching their sponsorship to the this festival is an attempt to greenwash their ruinous actions and insulting to those that care for the James River, which they currently pollute through coal ash ponds and intend to pollute through horizontal drilling for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”
- “Riverrock is an interactive component of the Dominion propaganda machine. The board of directors and executives should be leaders in the shift to renewables and protecting our environment. They could still make huge profits doing this. Instead they make token gestures with solar and wind power while devastating our earth with an unnecessary fracked gas pipeline and leaving their hazardous coal ash where toxins are leaching into our water. But we are supposed to listen to bands, race through mud and watch dogs fetch and just forget all about Dominion’s heinous practices”
- “A fantasy event to try and make the public think Dominion cares about our environment particularly our rivers and streams. Meanwhile they are plundering the mountains and streams of WVA, VA, and North Carolina merely for their own and their shareholders’ profit. There is no domestic need for the natural gas that Dominion is selling to itself and its partners. Landowners are having their property ripped out of their hands; their safety and livelihoods imperiled because Dominion has its head in the fossilized sand. Virginia trails much of the rest of the country in developing and employing renewable sources of energy because of Dominion’s control of the Virginia legislature and Governor. Most new businesses are demanding that renewable energy sources be available before they will chose a location. You want jobs VA?—then get your head out of the sand and Dominion’s hands out of your pockets.”
- “If you are a true supporter of the outdoors and Mother Nature you will not attend or support this green-washing event put on by master polluters Dominion. Their power monopoly in most of Virginia is coal and natural gas fueled and they are hellbent on destroying the oldest mountains on planet earth and poisoning the water of millions of Virginians, forever scarring our gorgeous landscape in western Virginia and beyond to line the pockets of their CEOs with the ACP and MVP. This is a green washing event to maintain their public image for those incapable of doing their own research. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!”
- “Rather than spend your money sponsoring community events and trying to buy Goodwill, just treat the citizens of Virginia with respect and dignity and stop stealing our land. It will become a life mission to take you to bankruptcy.”
- “Dear Dominion, a better way to support the great outdoors in Virginia would be to immediately cease all construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline just as the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered you to. A better way would be to stop cutting down our forests, stop violating the Endangered Species Act, and stop building a fracked gas pipeline that is polluting our streams, creeks and rivers.”
- “Don’t be fooled by the ‘green washing’. Yoga festivals and ‘mud runs’ in Richmond are propaganda to distract attention away from the mudslides and erosion from pipeline construction that is ruining our waterways and defiling our forests in Southwest VA.”
- “Dominion has been destroying communities across Virginia for years. From dumping coal ash into the James River to taking eminent domain from landowners to build the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipelines, Dominion’s actions are dangerous for our communities, clean water, and our climate. Riverrock festival is just another tool Dominion uses to convince our communities that they care about people and the environment, when obviously their actions show otherwise. Boycott Riverrock to demand Dominion stops building new fossil fuel infrastructure and invests in clean energy instead. #noMVP #noACP”
- “Stealing land from hard working Americans right here in Virginia. Destroying not only trees but the streams and rivers we all depend on for Dominions own personal profits. This company is nothing but evil and use intimidation and private security forces to take what it wants!”
- “I find it a blatant farce that Riverrock purports to be an event to tie together community under the guise of outdoor activity, when Dominion Energy is pushing through a pipeline that is destroying our landscape and natural resources. #boycottriverrock #standwithred #belikenutty #noACP #noMVP”
- “Dominion uses Riverrock to try and clear its image while it devastates rural Virginia with pipeline construction, poisons water through coal ash disposal and funnels money into our politicians defacing the political process. Dominion is bad for our city and bad for Virginia and I refuse to support their attempts to greenwash their image”
- “Dominion is polluting the rivers and now forest of VA. It is not the will of the people. Riverock is a PR irony.”
- “Don’t be fooled by the yoga and the earthy, outdoorsy atmosphere. This is a ‘green-washing’ PR event. If Dominion cared about our rivers, they wouldn’t dump coal ash into them. If Dominion cared about our water, they’d cease all construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (as ordered by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals).”
- “Dominion is a horrible corporate citizen and uses events like River Rock to hide their corruption of our democracy and environmental destruction”
- “Hmmm the company throwing a festival to celebrate the river is the organization polluting it, gross! #WaterIsLife”
- “Nice try at green washing! Dominion is a monstrosity that is happy to chew up Virginia for its own profits”
- “I think it is disgusting to hear ‘Dominion Energy’ and ‘River’ in the same phrase.”
- “Coal ash, fracked gas pipelines…but ya’ll wanna celebrate river life on the James? Dominion is garbage and so is this event. Even Aaron Ruby’s mother knows y’all are evil.”
- “My last review was deleted, so I’ll say it again. What Dominion Energy has being doing to Virginia citizens is despicable and criminal”
- “noun: greenwashing – disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.”
- “Dominion Energy cares nothing for your rivers, creeks, wetlands or property rights. Go for a hike or a kayak trip instead. #standwithRed #belikenutty #noMVP #noACP #noeminentdomainforprivTegain #waterislife”
- “What you are doing in Virginia is a crime. Stealing people’s land, paying off corrupt politicians the CEO should be ashamed.”
Pipeline Opponents Protest Dominion with Kite Action at Annual Riverrock Festival
Environmental activists flew kites targeting Dominion against pipelines and corporate corruption
RICHMOND, Virginia– On Sunday, May 20, a group of activists protested Dominion Energy’s annual Riverrock festival to stand against its role in Virginia’s political system and draw attention to the dangers that would come with its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The activists flew kites with messages opposing Dominion Energy and its proposed fracked-gas pipeline.
To see photos, please see here.
This event took place as Dominion faces increased scrutiny over its energy policies and political influence. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline particularly has garnered widespread opposition across the region. Tens of thousands of Virginia residents have sent petitions to Governor Ralph Northam opposing this pipeline and the similar Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Additionally, the band Blush Face refused to play at the Riverrock festival. The band stated that it “didn’t want to get involved with any kind of river celebration Dominion put on because of their actions and support of the pipeline campaigns and coal ash disposal. Although they claim to give back to the community and pretend to care about our river, we feel that Riverrock is more of a facade. We love celebrating music and everything outdoors, but we don’t love where Dominion’s interests are with those things. They pollute our shared resources and threaten our home for their corporate interest and we don’t want to play at their party.”
Last year, 48 percent of Dominion shareholders voted in favor of a resolution calling on the company’s board of directors to report on how the company will address climate change. This is far more support than similar shareholder resolutions have ever achieved.