Virginian-Pilot, Nov. 5, 2011
Old and new Dominion
Dominion Power is proposing a plan to retire two of
Virginia's oldest and dirtiest coal plants. Retiring the
Chesapeake and Yorktown coal plants provides Dominion
with a great opportunity to invest in clean, renewable
energy like wind and solar, but instead the company's
plan is to put all its eggs in one basket: natural gas.
America has been a leader in technological innovation in
the past, but now Europe and Asia are overtaking America
in ways large (fast trains) and small (hearing loops).
One of the largest is in the production of alternative
energy. If we don't stand up to the backward-looking,
fast-profit mentality of many U.S. corporations, we will
fall farther and farther behind in the high-tech age. It
is critical that Dominion Power invest in alternative,
renewable energy production such as wind, geothermal,
tidal and solar. These energy sources are free,
unlimited and do not risk the health of our communities
and the planet.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct. 14, 2011
Let's start talking about
It's a shame there was no discussion of offshore wind
power and other renewable energy sources at the
bipartisan Virginia energy summit held in Alexandria
recently. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell hosted the
conference, and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner attended.
There was much talk of drilling for oil and gas, but
Virginia's tremendous potential for utility-scale
offshore wind power wasn't even mentioned.
Bipartisanship is a fine thing, but do these two
politicians understand that climate change requires that
we move quickly to clean, renewable energy such as wind
and solar? Our political leaders in Virginia, as well as
executives at Dominion Virginia Power, need to get
started moving us beyond fossil fuels to carbon-free
Daily Press, Sept. 30, 2011
As a ratepayer, I applaud
Dominion's plans to retire two coal plants in Hampton
Roads. The economics of keeping dirty old coal plants
online is proving too costly. Yet as Dominion's plan
also calls for a 25 percent increase in electricity
generation over the next 15 years, very little of it
comes from Virginia-made renewable energy sources. That
makes no financial sense and only fuels the economic
development in the mid-West where Dominion gets the
little of the wind energy it offers here in Virginia.
New coal and nuclear — energy sources that Dominion has
depended upon in the past — are too expensive to build
today and are being replaced by natural gas, which is
cheap now but is finite and will come from fracking,
which is risky. Natural gas may not be cheap for long
and unlike offshore wind, won't create 10,000
good-paying, local, career-length jobs with a fuel cost
forever of $0 and which is in infinite supply.
Dominion's plans are currently before Virginia's State
Corporation Commission, a state agency that must
determine whether the utility's plan is reasonable and
in the public interest. Dominion must be required to
make plans for a Virginia-made clean energy future.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept. 21, 2011
Corporate welfare thrives in
Regarding your recent editorial,
"Energy: Corporate Welfare": While you rail against
federal spending on offshore wind studies, you ignore
far more flagrant corporate welfare happening right here
in Virginia. We taxpayers shell out close to $45 million
annually to coal companies and utilities to subsidize
the mining of coal in Virginia. Meanwhile mining
employment continues to decline because huge machines do
most of the work, while a new American offshore wind
industry could create 10,000 new jobs right here in the
If your tea party heroes really care about wasting
taxpayer money, they should be directing their ire at
the subsidies for fossil fuels that make it so difficult
for offshore wind and other renewable energy to compete.
Vice Chair, Virginia Chapter, Sierra Club
Virginian-Pilot, Sept. 18, 2011
Recently it was announced that two
Virginia companies have been awarded Department of
Energy grants to advance offshore wind projects. Gov.
Bob McDonnell's statement on this win for Virginia,
however, was decidedly lukewarm. While professing to be
an advocate of offshore wind, the governor remarked that
'offshore wind energy will not solve our nation's
dependence on foreign sources of energy.'
McDonnell has aggressively advocated bringing dirty and
dangerous offshore oil drilling to Virginia's coast,
despite the fact that the Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management estimates that the Virginia Leasing Area
contains just 130 million barrels of oil about one
week's worth at current rates of consumption.
If the governor is truly concerned about reducing our
dependence on foreign energy, he should put that effort
into offshore wind instead. A study of Virginia's
offshore wind potential found that developing all of our
economically recoverable wind resources could supply 83
percent of the energy we currently generate and that 83
percent would last forever.