How pathetic is Dominion Energy? Let us count the ways! For starters, news just broke that Verizon (finally!) has just left the far-right, climate-science-denying group ALEC, leaving Dominion Energy – ostensibly “state regulated,” but actually more like Dominion regulates Virginia’s elected officials and “captured” regulatory bodies – to remain, disgracefully, in that horrendous organization.
Next, consider how Dominion continues to spew out false, poll-tested, cynical utility industry talking points about how it’s sooooooooo hard to move towards 100% clean energy. Except that, as Vox’s David Roberts explains in his latest brilliant article (“Utilities have a problem: the public wants 100% renewable energy, and quick: The industry is groping for ways to talk the public down”), “a recent bit of market research and polling done on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group for utilities” found that:
- The public LOOOOVES clean energy and wants more of it, 100% in fact, as rapidly as possible.
- The public is not buying any of the utility industry’s bullshit excuses, such as that it’s supposedly not “feasible” right now, or that there’s some sort of (false) choice “between a balanced energy mix, which provides reliable energy whenever we need it, and 100% renewable energy.”
- The bottom line is that “An anti-renewables message, even a message that implies anti-renewables, is simply untenable,” which means that utilities are going for the next best (actually worse – much worse – for power consumers, the environment, etc.), which is delay, delay, and delay some more (the poll-tested, cynical, utility industry language goes something like this: “Once customers are convinced that utilities are sincere about supporting renewables, they become more open to the message that getting to 100 percent will take some time, that it needs to be done deliberately, and that costs need to be taken into account.”)
- Check out Dominion’s latest “Integrated Resource Plan,” and you’ll find this poll-tested, cynical bullshit in droves. For instance, Dominion states, “By avoiding overreliance on any single fuel source, the Company protects its customers from rate volatility and other harms associated with shifting regulatory requirements, commodity price volatility, and reliability concerns.” Did I mention this is complete and utter cynical BULLSHIT?
So that brings us to the headline about Europe 258,000 MW-Dominion 12 MW in terms of offshore wind capacity within five years. See this Thursday’s Bloomberg article for more on that topic. Bottom line:
“Europe’s installed wind power capacity is seen ballooning to 258 gigawatts, or about a quarter of the world’s entire output, within five years.
European wind project developers will install an average of 17 gigawatts of capacity, or the equivalent of 17 nuclear reactors, annually for the next half decade, lobby group Wind Europe said in its Outlook to 2022 report.”
This isn’t just happening in Europe, either, as states to the north of Virginia – New England, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland – are all pushing hard to develop their enormous offshore wind resources. Why? Because increasingly, offshore wind makes economic sense, even as the urgency of slashing greenhouse gas emissions becomes more apparent by the day.
So what about in Dominion-dominated Virginia? You MUST be kidding me! Here in the “Virginia Way” (aka, “a state of legalized corruption”) Commonwealth, Dominion is busy…not being busy. Instead, Dominion is slow-walking, stalling, sitting on their offshore wind leases, however you want to put it.
Thus, as the Daily Press reported recently, Dominion is actually spending $300 MILLION (!) to…wait for it…”build a pilot plant of two 6-megawatt wind turbines, 27 miles off the Virginia coast.” That’s right: as Europe and states up and down the east coast of the U.S. are racing ahead on offshore wind power development, ALEC member Dominion Energy is doing…jack shit, basically.
The consequences? Well put it this way: at this rate, Virginia’s not going to be part of the “over $3.6 billion in economic benefits to Atlantic Coast states.” On the other hand, from Dominion’s perspective, they’ll continue to be able to dishonestly, disingenuously justify building two massive new fracked-gas pipelines which VIRGINIA DOES NOT NEED, but which self-dealing Dominion claims it does, and make boatloads of money by ripping us all off and trashing the environment. Such a deal, huh? But one thing’s for sure: we can see why Dominion stays in far-right, climate-science-denying ALEC…
P.S. Almost forgot to mention; check out the new report by Deloitte, which finds that “solar and wind move from mainstream to preferred,” as “A powerful combination of enabling trends and demand trends—evident in multiple developed and developing nations globally—is helping solar and wind compete on par with conventional sources and win.” So who are you going to believe, respected Deloitte or Dirty Dominion?