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Two Numbers: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Would More than Double Dominion Energy Virginia’s Current Carbon Pollution

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24 million tons per year, total current carbon emissions from Dominion’s existing Virginia based power plants in 2018  

30 million tons per year, carbon pollution from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Today’s headline in the Washington Post, Global Carbon Reaches Record, begs the question in Virginia, what is Dominion Energy, our largest utility, doing about climate change?

These two numbers tell you that Dominion Energy Virginia, a monopoly supposedly regulated by the state, is putting corporate profit over climate protection, aided and abetted by the Virginia political and business establishment. Many of these political and business leaders state that they understand climate change is real, but they have obviously not yet faced up to their responsibilities to take appropriate action.  

 

Notes:

24 million tons per year – In Dominion Energy Virginia’s response to Interrogatories in its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan case before the State Corporation Commission, it reported the following 2018 CO2 emissions: Natural Gas:15,652,648 mty + Coal: 7,769,062 mty + Oil: 550,742 mty = 23,972,452 million tons per year

30 million tons per year – FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Vol 1, page 4-621) states that this one pipeline “would result in approximately 29,957,375 million [tons per year] CO2e emitted from end users.” Note that this estimate of 30 million tons per year does not include the climate impacts of methane leaks from the pipeline or the fracking wells that produce the gas.

In a prior post, Three Numbers, I contrasted Governor Northam’s proposed reductions in carbon pollution under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative with the total carbon pollution to be emitted by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. That post showed that the climate harming emissions from these two pipelines was seven times greater that the emission reduction that Governor Northam proposes under RGGI.