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Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:53

Never-Before-Seen Exposé of Dominion Energy’s Full History of Clean Energy Obstruction in Virginia

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Social justice groups,clean energy advocates, and state legislators joined Food & Water Watch at the Capitol to announce visionary legislation to move Off Fossil Fuels (OFF) by 2035 in Virginia, as well as a new historical assessment of Dominion Energy’s power grab in the state of Virginia.

The report, “Dominion Energy’s Power Grab,” outlines the company’s ploy to replace coal with another dirty fossil fuel, natural gas, at the expense of monetizing the state’s democratic process and a healthy environmental future. In response, groups elevate the Virginia OFF bill as an opportune solution to the associated environmental degradation occurring in the state and country.

Food & Water Watch found that Dominion has repeatedly successfully crafted — and recrafted — Virginia’s electric utility rules to benefit Dominion while driving up electric bills for residents. Meanwhile, the company lavished politicians with at

least $59 million over the past two decades, establishing monopolistic power. The numbers revealed in this study show alarmingly high correlation between Dominion campaign contributions and elected officials’ voting histories.

The groups including NAACP, People Demanding Action, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and others called on Virginia’s General Assembly to combat the environmental damage from fossil fuels use by supporting the OFF bill. The bill is being officially introduced by Delegate Sam Rasoul. It calls for the state to make a swift and just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035. Just as notably, the bill establishes a moratorium on state agency approval of any fossil fuel projects like the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

“Dominion’s stranglehold over politics, energy, and infrastructure in the state of Virginia is a travesty to democratic values,” said Jorge Aguilar, Food & Water Watch Southern Region Director. “Such a legacy of pollution and crookedness continues to threaten communities with major fracked gas infrastructure, climbing climate emissions, and controversial projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Cove Point export terminal, power plants and electric transmission lines. It is up to our elected officials to halt dirty fossil fuel development and flip the switch on dirty energy by committing to rapidly shifting to 100 percent clean renewable energy now.”

“Virginia State Conference NAACP whole-heartedly stand in solidarity with our partners in the call for future development of clean and renewable energy and demand Dominion Energy and other Virginia utility companies proactively reach out and help create thousands of opportunities for careers among those who have been hurt and suffered the most,” said Jesse Frierson, political director of the Virginia NAACP.

“This report shows why it's time to end the Virginia way of unlimited contributions to legislators,” said Andrea Miller, executive director of People Demanding Action. “ It's time for legislators to stop voting their money and start voting in the best interest of the people of Virginia. Our lives and our environment are at stake.”

"Climate change exacerbates the issues that people of faith are already working on, such as hunger, clean water, immigration and refugees, and global conflict,” said Kendyl Crawford, executive director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light. “Many Virginians aren’t aware of the negative consequences of our energy choices as a society.  Cutting dangerous carbon pollution and greenhouse gases will save lives."

“It’s abundantly clear that Virginians, our representatives and our regulatory boards, must stand up to Dominion and its dangerous policies, including by denying the air permit being sought for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Buckingham compressor station,” said Stacy Lovelace, co-founder of the Virginia Pipeline Resisters.  “Virginians should support any bill like the OFF Act that stops projects like this fracked gas compressor station, which would emit tons of toxic air pollutants, produce constant noise, create an ever-present threat of explosion, and do all of that in the mostly African-American community of Union Hill.”

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Contact Us at virginia@poorpeoplescampaign.org