What do you get when you put over 200 CCAN supporters out in the rain in downtown Richmond on a Saturday? A drenched but fired-up community ready to stand up to Dominion’s Dirty Power!
If you’re on CCAN’s Virginia list, then you surely heard about last Saturday’s event – the March to End Dominion’s Power Madness. After 5 weeks of spreading the word, managing logistics large and small and reaching out to the media, we were ready. So, when we saw the forecast and woke up to drenching rain last Saturday morning, we were a little worried. But, we knew it would take more than a downpour to keep CCAN activists from standing up to the commonwealth’s biggest climate change contributor. We were right!
People came out in droves to Kanawha Plaza, across the street from Dominion’s Richmond offices, with energy and enthusiasm I’ve rarely seen.
We heard from inspiring Virginians, leaders of organizations fighting climate change and Wonder Wind (pictured above)…then we chanted and marched until we formed a human chain around Dominion’s building, which takes up an entire city block. Our event sent a loud and clear message to Dominion – We want REAL renewable energy now! It was a truly inspiring day. If you were there, please leave a comment with your most inspiring moment! See some local news coverage HERE (tv) and HERE (print).
When we call out “Dominion’s Dirty Power,” we aren’t only talking about their over-reliance on fossil fuels. While it’s ridiculous that they only get a microscopic amount of their energy from renewable sources (2.42% in 2010!), we’re also talking about the power they have over VA’s energy policies. They give more money to VA’s legislators than any other special interest group, giving them unmatched influence when it comes to VA’s energy regulations. So now, that 2.42% of renewable energy (which does not include any wind or solar power), entitles them to a $76 MILLION reward for meeting the weak Renewable Portfolio Standard that they helped to write. Madness!
We’re fed up and it felt good to take this message to Dominion’s doorstep. We’re experiencing climate impacts that are beyond disturbing. Some scientists are saying that if we don’t reverse course in a major way THIS DECADE, we’ll reach climate change tipping points from beyond which we cannot return. That’s what keeps me up at night. Yet, big industries like Dominion VA Power, with a CEO (Tom Farrell) who raked in $12.2 million last year, aren’t thinking about that and are doing their best to keep us locked into fossil fuel dependence. The practice of short-term gains while ignoring long-term consequences has had its day. Now it’s our turn.
Our work to hold Dominion accountable launched in a big way last Saturday. Obviously, if we’re going to chip away at their stranglehold over Virginia’s energy policy, we need everyone to get in the game. Over 200 people showed us they were ready last Saturday. That’s an excellent start, but we need more. Please email our lead Virginia organizer, Keith Thirion, to get involved: keithT (at) chesapeakeclimate.org.