Dominion Keeps Trying to Pull the Wool Over Our Eyes

Writing in the Virginia Mercury on May 5, 2019, Ivy Main outlines the ways Dominion is currently trying to pull the wool over our eyes. She muses on “the series of full-page ads Dominion Energy has taken out in newspapers over the past few weeks bragging about the company’s investments in solar energy. The ads are misleading — I’ll get to that in a minute—but the more interesting question is what the company is up to that it hopes we’re too busy looking at solar panels to notice.”

A few of the things Main says Dominion wants to distract us from:

  • Dominion Energy paid no federal income tax for 2018, in spite of earning over $3 billion in U.S. income.
  • Most of that untaxed income comes from customers here in Virginia, but not all of it is earned (she explains why).
  • After getting authority to spend all that customer money, one of Dominion’s first moves was to interpret “spending” as “keeping.”
  • Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline could shape up to be a huge profit center for the company, but also a huge financial burden for utility customers.
  • In March, Dominion boasted customer-funded spending numbers at least $3 billion higher than it gave its regulators at the State Corporation Commission just two weeks before.
  • And so on.

She notes, “Yet at least some Dominion leaders seem to be aware that other people think the company should be ashamed of its greed, and that some of these people are voters who may eject its friendly legislators from office this fall. Their answer is to run an ad about solar panels to distract us and change the conversation. But the ad just starts its own conversation — and not in the intended way.” She enumerates the errors and faulty implications in the ads e.g. boasting about 2 million added solar panels (which, at an average of 300-watt panels “comes out to 600 MW, which is a pitifully small amount compared to Dominion’s fossil fuel investments”), and the fact that all of that solar is for data centers and other large customers rather than ordinary customers.

Read the full article here.