More than 4000 residents sign petitions; 78 groups sign on to full-page ad calling on Dominion shareholders to abandon controversial pipeline
RICHMOND, VA — Today, as Dominion Energy meets virtually for its annual shareholder meeting, an unprecedented coalition of advocacy organizations and Virginia residents have sent a message to shareholders and board members, calling on the utility monopoly to abandon its plans to build the highly controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
A coalition of 78 prominent advocacy organizations from Virginia and across the country signed onto a letter that will be displayed in a full-page Richmond Times-Dispatch ad and a half-page Washington Post ad on May 6, the day of Dominion Energy’s annual shareholder meeting. The ad, addressed to shareholders, states: “New legislation and legal challenges have rendered the completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline unrealistic.” The letter points to the pipeline’s $8 billion price tag, eight missing permits necessary for construction, and the fact that Dominion recently informed state regulators that “significant build-out of natural gas generation facilities is not currently viable” under the state’s new law requiring Dominion to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
A law signed last month by Governor Northam, HB 167, significantly raises the threshold for Dominion to pass any of the cost of the ACP onto ratepayers. In order to recover costs from Virginians as planned, Dominion must now prove a need for the energy the pipeline would supply in Virginia and that the pipeline was the lowest-cost way to produce that energy.
Additionally, two petitions garnering nearly 4,000 signatures were delivered to Dominion executives and shareholders today. With one petition, over 2200 Virginia residents called on Dominion CEO Tom Farrell to walk away from the pipeline “for the financial health of the company.” Another petition gathered over 1800 signatures to tell Dominion shareholders that the pipeline “no longer makes economic sense, even based on Dominion Energy’s own logic,” and that “continuing to pursue this project is fiscally irresponsible.”
“Dominion Energy’s stubborn push to continue building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline despite ballooning costs, legal and permitting challenges, and a seismic shift in Virginia’s energy landscape betrays its duty to shareholders,” said Brennan Gilmore, Executive Director of Clean Virginia. “The responsible thing — for Virginians and shareholders alike — is for Dominion to shutter the project before another tree is felled.”
“After the coronavirus, the last thing we need is another crisis at our doorstep,” said Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “If built, the pipeline would be a disaster for both the economy and public health. And now that the economic case is stronger than ever, it’s time to end this dangerous project once and for all.”
“Our normal way of life because of the pandemic is not even close to returning. Factor this together with the economic uncertainties and the harmful impacts to the health and welfare of many elderly, low income and majority African Americans in the proposed compressor station neighborhood of Union Hill, and you have something that is absolutely unjustified,” said Chad Oba, President Friends of Buckingham.
“Recent research shows that higher levels of air pollution increase the risk of death and hospitalization from COVID-19. Increasing toxic emissions takes us on the wrong path, placing Virginians at increased risk from the current pandemic as well as from other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases” Samantha Ahdoot, MD, Chair of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action.
The letter to Dominion shareholders was signed by the following organizations: Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, Alliance for Affordable Energy, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Appalachian Voices, Berks Gas Truth, Better Path Coalition, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Bold Alliance, Bold Iowa, Bridging The Gap In Virginia, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Center for Sustainable Economy, Charlottesville Democratic Socialists of America, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Clean Virginia, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Climate Disobedience Center, Climate Hawks Vote, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Divest RVA Earth Action Inc, Earthworks, ENOUGH is ENOUGH Preserve VA, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, First Alliance Consulting LLC, Food & Water Action, Friends of Buckingham, Friends of Nelson, Friends of the Earth, Green New Deal VA, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Indigenous Environmental Network, Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice, La ColectiVa, Lancaster Against Pipelines, League of Women Voters of Virginia, Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, Marcellus Outreach Butler, Mothers Out Front VA, Movement Rights, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (anti-nuclear), Oil Change International, Our Revolution Alexandria, Piedmont Environmental Council, Preserve Giles County, Property Rights and Pipeline Center, Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection, Reclaim Augusta, Richard Freeman Allan, Richmond For All, Rockbridge Area Conservation Council (RACC), Rockfish Valley Investments, LLC, Scenic Virginia, Stand.earth, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Sustainable Roanoke, Together We Will Henrico, United Parents Against Lead & Other Environmental Hazards (UPAL), Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, Virginia Community Rights Network, Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia Democracy Forward (VADF), Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, Virginia Justice Democrats, Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Virginia Network for Democracy and Environmental Rights, Virginia Organizing, Wild Virginia, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, Yogaville Environmental Solutions, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Center For Sustainable Communities, 350 Alexandria, 350 Fairfax, 350 Loudoun, 350.org