With its preccccciousssss fracked-gas pipeline over budget, over schedule, and suffering defeat after defeat in court and elsewhere, Dominion Energy is now officially freaking out. See below for the over-the-top, quasi-hysterical email (bolding by me for emphasis of the most fallacious/bizarre assertions) sent by Dominion flack Aaron Ruby yesterday morning to news outlets in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Also note that Dominion’s climate-science-denying, fossil-fuel-boosting minions on right-wing radio and blogs (I’m not going to link) have been very busy in recent days, spewing out Alex Jones-style conspiracy theories about the Russians, “Green Antifa,” and other craziness. I think, at this point, that we can definitively conclude that Dominion Energy is freaking out, possibly lost its collective mind.
You have probably seen the news of recent rulings in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit involving two of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s federal authorizations. I would like to place these decisions within a larger context. Please note I am not sending this email for publication as a letter to the editor or as an op-ed, but rather to help inform your perspective on these important issues.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is critical to the economic and environmental future of our region. Public utilities are depending on it to meet the basic energy needs of millions of people and to power our economy. This project will bring cleaner, more affordable and more reliable electricity to millions; it will improve the environment by moving our region from coal to cleaner energy; and it will help grow our economy with new manufacturing and lower energy costs.
As you are aware, environmental activists have spent millions of dollars attempting to delay this project, most recently in the courts. Their delay tactics are not protecting the environment. They are harming consumers and working families, damaging our economy and threatening our energy security. Further delays to this project will only result in higher energy costs, delayed access to cleaner energy and less reliable energy for consumers.
In response to recent rulings by the Fourth Circuit, we have been forced in recent days to lay-off or delay hiring more than 4,500 skilled construction workers in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. As a result, thousands of working families will spend this holiday season without a paycheck and steady work. We are confident we will ultimately prevail in the courts and resume construction, but that will not undo the damage already done to these working families.
A new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demonstrates that opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not an isolated phenomenon. It is part of a national campaign by environmental activists to completely eradicate fossil fuels from the American economy. The report was jointly released by the U.S. Chamber and the nation’s leading construction trade union.
The report documents the severe social and economic damage of pipeline opposition across the country: fewer jobs for blue collar workers, less reliable electricity, higher energy prices, and lost tax revenue. I encourage you to review the report and consider the damage pipeline opposition is doing to our economy, our environment and the livelihood of working people.
Strategic Advisor, Gas Infrastructure Communications