How many stinkin’ reasons to we need NOT to have this guy appointed to fill a “highly coveted seat on the State Corporation Commission [SCC].” A month ago, I wrote about how David W. Clarke lobbies for WellCare Health Plans Inc, which “provides managed care health plans primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans for more than 4.4 million members across the country.” I noted that if Clarke ends up on the powerful SCC, he will be one of a few people overseeing the regulation of health insurance plans — and likely approve double digit increases — in Virginia.
Now, we have another stinkin’ reason Clarke should not be on the SCC. Check this out:
A state conservation organization [the Virginia League of Conservation Voters] is opposing the nomination of Richmond lawyer David Clarke to serve on the State Corporation Commission because of his work for regulated oil, gas and insurance companies…
…Clarke, 62, is a lawyer and member in charge at the Richmond office of Eckert Seamans, which represents the Virginia Oil & Gas Association and Columbia Gas of Virginia, as well as insurance and banking interests subject to SCC regulation…
…Clarke’s prospects were boosted this week by former Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, the top choice of Senate Republicans, who withdrew his name and endorsed Clarke to fill the unexpired term.
So yeah, this guy not only represents powerful insurance and banking interests, but also powerful oil and gas interests. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with putting someone like THAT on one of the most powerful – but little known – regulatory bodies in Virginia.
But wait, you say, maybe Clarke’s views aren’t really that pro-oil-and-gas, just because he represents the oil and gas industry for lots of $$$. Well…check out the following testimony Clarke gave in 2017 on how the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline – both of which, in addition to being environmentally destructive, will cost ratepayers money and will likely end up as “stranded assets” in a few years – should be built. Note: bolding added by me for emphasis. After reading this, I encourage you to let your Delegate and State Senator know what you think about letting this guy anywhere near the Virginia SCC.
5 MS. DAVENPORT: Thank you so much. Number6 fifteen, please, and sixteen through twenty, can you7 come up, please?8 MR. CLARK: Good evening, my name is David9 Clark, I am counsel to the Virginia Oil and10 Association, which is the trade association11 representing all the aspects of the natural12 gas industry in Virginia, from the production of natural13 gas in southwest Virginia, to the transportation14 through interstate and intrastate pipelines and15 distribution to your homes and your businesses that16 rely so heavily on natural gas. The Mountain Valley17 Pipeline is a project of tremendous importance to the18 Commonwealth and our nation. While those who wish to 19 ban the use of all fossil fuels have raised against20 virtually every aspect of production and transporting21 the natural gas with which this country has been22 blessed, electric utilities, industrial users, and23 residents are rapidly increasing the demand for this24 abundant, cheap, and clean source of energy. This25 demand cannot be met without new infrastructure,DEQ Public Hearing MTN Valley Pipeline August 9, 2017 VR # 5704-3 Page 33
1 the natural gas industry are confident the DEQ can and2 will carefully balance those interests as it completes3 its review of this project. We urge you to strike a4 balance that provides reasonable protection of water5 resources without unreasonably burdening this crucial6 project, or preventing it from moving forward. Thank7 you.
DEQ Public Hearing ATL Coast Pipeline August 14, 2017 VR # 5704-5 Page 89
17 MR. CLARKE: Good evening, thank you for the18 opportunity to speak to you tonight. I had the19 privilege of speaking last week regarding the Mountain20 Valley Pipeline, and I’m here tonight to likewise21 support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. My name is David22 Clarke.23 I am an attorney. I live in Richmond,24 Virginia, and I am counsel to the Virginia Oil and Gas25 Association. VOGA is the trade association
1 representing all aspects of the natural gas industry2 in the Commonwealth, from those that work to produce3 natural gas in southwest Virginia to those who4 transport that through pipelines and other5 infrastructure, to those who distribute gas to you in6 your homes and your businesses.7 Including, I might add, Virginia Natural8 Gas, who is a customer or will be a customer on this9 pipeline if successfully completed. And Virginia10 Natural Gas has experienced situations in which they11 have had to turn off certain interruptible customers12 because there has been a lack of gas supply to that13 part of the state.14 The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project of15 tremendous importance to the Commonwealth and our16 nation. While those who wish to ban the use of all17 fossil fuels have raised against virtually every18 aspect of producing and transporting the natural gas19 with which this country has been blessed, electric and20 gas utilities, industrial users, and residents are21 rapidly increasing the demand for this abundant,22 affordable, and clean source of energy.23 This demand cannot be met without new24 infrastructure including pipelines. It’s already been25 pointed out this evening that there are thousands of
1 miles crisscrossing the Commonwealth today of2 pipelines. They’ve been constructed, operated, and3 maintained safely and to the benefit of the4 Commonwealth and its citizens.5 The same will be true with the Atlantic6 Coast Pipeline. I’ve been around this industry long7 enough to have seen similar projects undertaken and8 completed. Most, if not all of the concerns being9 expressed about ACP were raised when those existing10 pipelines were planned and constructed.11 I submit to you that the only difference12 here is the volume of opposition, must of that the13 result of interests wishing to stop the production and14 use of fossil fuels. The industry respects the rights15 and concerns of landowners who are impacted by this16 project, as well as those who make use of the public17 lands and waters in the surrounding areas.18 And the industry is committed to minimizing19 those impacts. ACP has invested significant resources20 and time working with numerous state and federal21 agencies as well as local governments in developing22 plans to minimize the environmental impacts of this23 project.24 That work will continue. Any project of25 this type and scale involves the balancing ofDEQ Public Hearing ATL Coast Pipeline August 14, 2017 VR # 5704-5 Page 92
1 interests. Proponents of ACP and the natural gas2 industry are confident that DEQ can and will carefully3 balance those interests as it completes its review of4 this project. Thank you.[END TESTIMONY OF DAVID CLARKE]