Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Shocker! Dominion Power, American Electric Power Huge Emitters of Neurotoxin Mercury

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The following press release is the Sierra Club and Environment Virginia. Hmmmm...perhaps we should revise our slogan from "Dominion: Global Warming Starts Here" to "Dominion: Mercury Poisoning Starts Here?"
New Data Reveals the Heaviest Mercury Polluters in Virginia
Dominion is the biggest mercury polluter in the state; while American Electric Power (AEP) claims the title of biggest in the nation

ALEXANDRIA, VA - Today, representatives from Environment Virginia and the Sierra Club released new data on airborne mercury pollution emitted from coal-fired power plants throughout the nation with an emphasis on Virginia. The data reveals Dominion as the biggest mercury polluter in the state with a total of 491 pounds while American Electric Power (AEP) claims the title as biggest mercury polluter in the nation with 6,220 pounds emitted in 2010.  

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that harms children and pollutes the environment. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury pollution in the country; emitting 2/3 of all airborne mercury pollution. Once in the air, mercury falls into waterways with rain or snow, where it builds up in fish and enters the food chain. Even a small drop of mercury is enough to make the fish in a 25-acre lake unsafe to eat.

"Parents in Virginia shouldn't have to worry that their children's bodies are toxic dumping grounds," said Caroline Kory, State Associate for Environment Virginia.  "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward to protect our children's health from toxic mercury pollution, and we can't let big polluters stand in the way."

Dominion to refund $78.3 million for overcharging its customers in 2009-10

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In their infinite mercifulness and concern for the energy consumers of Virginia, the State Corporation Commission recently ordered Dominion Virginia Power to refund $78.3 million to its customers for making too high a profit in both 2009 and 2010.

To add salt to this gaping wound, the most recent overearnings infraction counts as the second time in three years that Dominion has been required to give money back to its customers for making too high a profit.

The truly appalling part of this new chapter of Dominion VA Power's goal of stealing from its customers is that the $78.3 million Dominion is required to repay to its customers amounts to only 60 percent of Dominion's overearnings - the percentage that Dominion is required to pay for by law.  If Dominion is only required to pay back 60 percent of its overearnings, where is Dominion's incentive to not overcharge its customers!

These are the types of statutes in Virginia that truly boggle the mind and defy all human reason.

Dominion only gets its way because most Virginian's don't know about Dominion's continuous effort to steal from its customers.

For justice, for fairness, for clean energy and the future of our state, let's write, call, and consistently get after Dominion to play by the rules and do the right thing by Virginians.

Like every dog, Dominion will eventually have its day. It's up to us to decide when that day will be.  

VA Sierra Club & CCAN protest Dominion’s crusade against clean energy...

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Cross-posted from Article XI.

On a windy but otherwise nice Wednesday afternoon, the VA Sierra Club, in conjunction with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) and volunteers, met at the front of Dominion VA Power's headquarters in Richmond to protest its efforts to kill clean energy in VA.

After stipulating its reasons for protesting in front of Dominion's Richmond headquarters, the groups marched to the VA State Corporation Commission to deliver over 2,500 signed petitions that made clear the demand for clean energy in Virginia.

But for Virginians who want clean energy to make a considerable dent in VA energy landscape, the road to that goal won't be an easy one. Dominion has made it clear through its actions that it is willing to spend more money promoting its green intentions (i.e. marketing) than actually implementing clean sources of energy that Virginian's can use.

Dominion VA Power is not above the economic laws of supply and demand. The supply of clean energy technologies is readily available as well as the demand for these technologies in VA. If Dominion does not get on board with the demands of Virginians, Dominion will not only lose the good-faith of its customers (even more than it already has), it will eventually lose out on the opportunity to take advantage of the "green wave" that will soon overtake America's "energy portfolio."  

New civil fine to be paid by Dominion over 700-800 gallon...

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Cross-posted from Article XI.

"Going green" seems to be a tough chore for Dominion VA Power. Dominion recently announced that it will pay $5,600 in civil fines for a 700 to 800 gallon fuel oil spill that occurred at its Yorktown Power Station on Nov. 1, 2010, hardly more than a slap on the wrist for Dominion.

The fine is expected to be paid as soon as the Virginia Water Quality Control Board pulls the measure through the formal bureaucratic process.

The latest incident of Dominion's highlights the uncertainties inherent in the extraction and transportation of oil, natural gas, uranium ore, or any other natural resource. The only problem with these natural resources is that "leaks" can have serious human and environmental consequences, consequences from which there may be no short-term remediation.

Moreover, given the temporary nature of many mining and extraction companies in particular, the logic of capitalism would dictate against long-term efforts at remediation oftentimes necessary to completely "clean up."

While Dominion VA Power is an exception in that it has firm roots in Virginia, its centrality to Virginia's economy and close political ties with many levers of government give pause to the idea that coherent regulations can reduce or eradicate environmental disasters arising from negligence, incompetence, or complete disregard of environmental safeguards.

700 to 800 gallon fuel oil spills, and other related incidents, by Dominion hardly seem like a simple mistake. It is a systemic problem that should be addressed immediately before there is no natural world left to value.  

Dominion removes incentive for residential customers to go solar

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Cross-posted from Article XI

It seems as if the VA State Corporation Commission was established to provide big businesses like Dominion VA Power virtually every demand they think up. On Wednesday, the commission did just that as it gave permission to Dominion to add a charge for large-scale residential solar customers.

The "stand-by" charge will be applied to customers of Dominion Virginia Power with solar systems of 10 kilowatts hours or greater.

Dominion didn't completely get its way, fortunately. The State Corporation Commission was gracious enough to spare Dominion's solar customers from a generation charge that would have been compounded with a transmission and distribution charge as well.

Dominion has estimated that the standby charge would "only" apply to a "handful" of customers.

The number of customers that the standby charge applies to misses the point entirely, however. What Dominion has done is taken away incentives for residential customers to "go solar" so that Dominion can retain its hefty monopoly over energy supplies, among other unpraiseworthy reasons.

It's time for Virginians and lovers of the environment and human health to stop playing nice with Dominion. Dominion has used the trust of its customers to string them along with false promises and dirty energy solutions.

The writing on the wall is clear: Dominion will only move rapidly towards renewable sources of energy if Virginians take action to voice their demands for renewable energy. Only then will profits take second seat to the potential of a fervent customer backlash across the state.