Virginia’s largest energy company, Dominion Virginia Power, has announced that it will invest more than $1 billion to build the Brunswick County power plant, a large, natural gas-fired power station in Brunswick, VA – this, instead of making any major investments in efficiency, wind and solar.
NATURAL GAS IN NOT “CLEAN” ENERGY
Although natural gas is often promoted as “cleaner” than coal, the reality is that burning natural gas generates carbon pollution which contributes to climate change. The annual air pollution emissions from Dominion’s Brunswick gas plant would include 5,341,291 tons of CO2 contributing to climate change and 343.6 tons of smog producing NOx.
Also, the extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as “fracking”) is dangerous and puts families at risk. Fracking involves drilling thousands of feet into the ground and injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into the shale. This process threatens contamination of groundwater and local drinking water wells. These extraction techniques harm communities facing drilling operations and downstream communities, including communities near wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater can contain radioactive materials, as well as carcinogenic elements and compounds such as arsenic and benzene. Dominion’s Brunswick gas plant will be fed with “fracked” gas.
DOMINION ADDS INSULT TO INJURY
While we applaud its retirement of dirty coal plants in Yorktown and Chesapeake, plans to build not one, not two but three gas plants perpetuates its short term vision by promoting fossil fuel generation at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Dominion simply adds insult to injury by going whole-hog with its investing of $1 billion for a fracked gas plant while continuing to thwart or delay efforts to get renewable energy and energy efficiency measures online.
If Dominion were to harness the wind off Virginia’s coast, we could create 10,000 local good-paying career-length jobs. Another 30,000 Virginia jobs could be created in the next decade if Dominion supported strong energy efficiency policies and investments.
Virginia could meet almost 20% of its electric demand from solar energy. Today the figure is less than 1% due to Dominion’s hostility toward sustainable energy. Solar energy could translate into thousands of jobs and support numerous Virginia small businesses.
How do we stop the Brunswick Gas Plant and push the State Corporation Commission and Dominion to develop more efficiency, wind and solar in Virginia?
Over the next several months, there are a number of hearings and public comment opportunities in which to press Dominion and the State Corporation Commission to support efficiency, wind and solar instead of the Brunswick fracked gas plant. The best way to stay engaged in this campaign is to subscribe to our activist list so as to receive and respond to our weekly calls to action. Click here to sign up now!
And mark the dates listed below on your calendar. Besides emails and calls to decision makers, it’s also very effective to attend these hearings and/or to attend rallies raising awareness to this important campaign.
Fighting for Wind and Solar Energy and Efficiency in Virginia:
Over the next four months there will be comment periods and hearings before the State Corporation Commission on Dominion cases relating to solar energy and efficiency.
- Solar Comment Deadline: Feb 4
- Solar Case Hearing Feb 12 in Richmond
- Efficiency Comment Deadline: Feb 25
- Efficiency Hearing: Mar 6 in Richmond
We also need to convince the State Corporation Commission that Dominion’s Brunswick gas plant is not in the interest of Dominion customers. Dates for comments and a public hearing are below:
- Brunswick fracked gas plant comment deadline: Apr 17
- Brunswick fracked gas plant SCC public hearing: Apr 24 in Richmond
There will also be a number of permit hearings before Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality. The first one is up soon:
- Brunswick Plant Air Permit Hearing before VA DEQ: Feb 4 in Brunswick County
Again, click here to sign up on our Activist List to stay up-to-date on our campaign to stop the Brunswick fracked gas plant.
Click here to download, print and distribute our “Don’t Frack our Promised Land for Dominion’s Brunswick Gas Plant”