by Glen Besa
The news that Tom Farrell is stepping down as Dominion Energy CEO and that Bob Blue is assuming this position immediately brought to mind a tag team wrestling match, and just like in “professional” wrestling, the outcome of the match remains fixed and unchanging.
Although Farrell’s recent major failures, most notably the defeat of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and losses in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session, might justify a demotion, note that Farrell is still sticking around as Executive Chairman.
This adjustment in leadership at the top of Dominion is merely an acknowledgement of the ascendancy of the Democratic Party at the state and the federal levels of government and the decline of the Republican Party. While Tom Farrell identifies as a Republican, Bob Blue self identifies as a Democrat. Blue served aa legal counsel and Director of Policy to then Governor Mark Warner from January 2002 to May 2005 when he left to go to work for Dominion Energy, and he regularly contributes to Democratic candidate fund raisers along with another Dominion Energy Democrat Eva Teig Hardy, a retired Dominion executive who served as chair of Mark Warner’s campaign for Senate in 2014 and as his acting Chief of Staff of when he was first elected to the US Senate. With the Democrats taking control of the state house, Eva Teig Hardy came out of retirement to lobby for Dominion in the 2020 General Assembly Session.
To further demonstrate my point, a quick check of VPAP shows Blue contributing $62,000 to Democrats and only $13,000 to Republicans while Farrell’s record of giving shows he has given $648,000 to Republicans and only $185,000 to Dems. These bi-partisan connections and largesse explain Dominion Energy’s political dominance regardless of which party holds power in Virginia.
From my past personal dealings with Bob Blue as an environmental advocate, I would not expect any change in Dominion Energy’s obstinate commitment to fossil fuels and nuclear power with Blue at the helm. To the contrary, Dominion’s tag team switch at the top provides it with more influence with top Democratic leaders which could spell trouble for energy policy reform in the Commonwealth.
Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and are not intended to reflect the opinion or the positions of any organizations with which he may be associated.