Home Dominion Power Video: Al Gore Rips Dominion, Says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Is “a...

Video: Al Gore Rips Dominion, Says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Is “a colossal, world-class ripoff of the energy ratepayers in in the state of Virginia”

Gore: "And why did [Northam] disband the Environmental Justice Advisory Board?…It’s called putting the fix in for Dominion."

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I already posted the complete video from last night’s amazing event in Union Hill. I’ve also focused in separately on the powerful comments by former Virginia Air Pollution Control Board member Rebecca Rubin and the superb, scathing speech by Rev. Dr. William Barber. Now, I want to focus on former Vice President Al Gore, who also gave a stemwinder of a speech last night! Check it out, below, with transcribed highlights.

  • “Buckingham County…this is the very geographical heart of Virginia and I think that Dominion is messing with the wrong part of Virginia.”
  • “I want to just underscore the fact that these compressors emit a lot of pollutants that cause a lot of diseases and conditions that threaten human health. [super-loud noise] 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And that’s not nearly…this causes problems, just the noise, again 24/7.”
  • “Some people have the misimpression that pipelines are generally safe. As was mentioned previously the newer pipelines are even less safe.”
  • “Here is a statistic I’ll come back to; the emissions from both Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines would double the current emissions from all Virginia’s existing power plants.” [booing]
  • “This proposed pipeline is a reckless, racist, ripoff. Reckless. Racist. Ripoff.”
  • “I want this is to sink in here. I want to talk about climate impacts and the environmental impacts and the dangers, but this never should have been approved in the first place purely on economic reasons. This is a ripoff. This is a colossal, world-class ripoff of the energy ratepayers in in the state of Virginia.”
  • “Here’s something that many people really don’t know. These big utilities don’t really make money by selling electricity or gas…but because their rates are heavily regulated and they learned how to game the system for so long, the way they make money is by building new capacity and adding the cost into their rate base and getting a big percentage of profit on top of that….this is basically a variety of cost-plus contracts. And if the pipeline is not needed, they have a powerful economic profit incentive to build it anyway, so they can rip off the ratepayers…”
  • “This is really unfair. Now why does this happen? The current gas pipelines have almost twice as much capacity as the amount of gas flowing through them to the markets, because the demand has been going down. Why? Well, because renewable energy has been coming in and taking away a lot of their markets. And because a lot of new technologies that have enabled people to reduce the amount of electricity they’re using like LEDs…”
  • “So what do the big gas and pipeline companies do? They’ve got go to Wall Street and boost their stock price by saying, oh we’ve got growth ahead, just listen to our story, our stock is bright because we’re going to grow and grow and grow, and our income from the ratepayers is gonna keep going up…We got this brand-new huge pipeline, one of the biggest ever, one of these compressor stations in Virginia that’s ever been built anywhere in the United States – we’ll be able to charge all that much more, and our profits will go up, and so you’ll want to keep an eye on our stock. That’s their incentive, that’s their growth story. But it’s a lie. It’s a falsehood. It is not consistent with reality. The regulators did not even consider competition from renewable energy when they initially approved this pipeline….but all the while the costs of solar and wind has been coming down down every single year, while the cost of the pipeline goes up and up every single year. So the gap that started out here…it is now a completely ridiculous proposal that ought to be canceled outright and they ought not to allow construction to begin again.”
  • “I first made statements about this when I read the news stories about the governor of Virginia dismissing these two members of the Air Quality Board so that he could get an approval from that Air Quality Board for the compressor station…Now that’s not due process. That is what’s called putting the fix in. Now why did the governor do that? Why? And why did he disband the Environmental Justice Advisory Board?…It’s called putting the fix in for Dominion. I cannot look int his heart and tell you what the motivation was…”
  • “I don’t like the fact that [corporations] believe they are the most important political actors in our country. We the people of the United States of America have to reclaim our own destiny and make a decision about what our lives are going to be like, what our environment is going to be like…whether our water is fit to drink, whether our land is going to be free from poison…”
  • That brings me to the racist part of it and there’s no way around this. Communities of color and communities made up low-income families have for complex historical reasons been relatively deprived of the same means to defend themselves economically and politically. So when the decision comes to place smokestacks upwind of community A, B or C and Community C can’t defend itself, that’s where the pollution source goes. Same with hazardous waste sites, with coal ash sites, with pipelines, with compressor stations.”
  • “When I read the history of Union Hill and saw with my own eyes how this historically significant community was being insulted and abused because of
    the McCall’s some people thought they could not defend themselves. I said you know, that just doesn’t seem right…We’re hear to say to Union Hill, you are not standing alone, we are standing with you and we WILL stand with you!”
  • “Finally, the reckless part of it is not limited to the accidents and the dangers faced by people who those homes are near the pipeline and particularly near the compressor station. If you simply take the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, by itself it would increase the global warming pollution from the state of Virginia for all energy sources by 40 percent…This compressor station and this pipeline would be the single largest increase in global warming pollution from the state of Virginia ever in one swoop.”
  • “And so global warming can be hard to hear about. The climate crisis is something some people don’t want to hear about. But you ask folks in Norfolk whose properties are flooded now on a regular basis. You have farmers whose crop yields have been ruined by the heavy rain bombs and the droughts one after the other. And you ask the scientists who said we’ve seen nothing yet. Because we know what’s coming. We’re putting 110 million tons of heat-trapping, man-made global warming pollution up in the sky every day…[the equivalent of] 500,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on the surface of the earth.”
  • We have the solution to the climate crisis and it creates jobs. What is the fastest-growing job in the United States of America? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month, solar installer…five times faster than any other job. Second fastest-growing job? Wind turbine technician. We can put people to work at good wages in good jobs, getting rid of the pollution, saving our future, solving the climate crisis, and making this entire damnable, reckless, racist ripoff of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline unnecessary…And if anyone doubts we have the political will to win, remember political will is a renewable resource!”