Greenwashing

Writing in the Virginia Mercury on May 20, 2019, Ivy Main says Dominion’s “investments in greenwashing are transparent and heartfelt. Dominion has had several bad months here in Virginia and would very much like to change the conversation.” She writes that “Dominion just joined a corporate coalition calling for a price on carbon. This must have been in the works about the same time Dominion was criticizing Virginia’s proposed entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which actually puts a price on carbon.”

She notes a claim that recently appeared in Dominion’s Twitter feed: “The future of our planet depends on clean energy, which is why more than 85% of our generation comes from clean energy sources such as solar.”

How in the world does Dominion come up with 85%? Main says, “Let us pause for a moment to reflect that this tweet comes from a company whose solar generation amounts to a rounding error.” She cites the pie chart from Dominion’s latest Integrated Resource Plan that shows:

  • Nuclear: 33%
  • Natural gas: 32%
  • Coal: 18%
  • Purchased (wholesale) power: 10% (that’s coal and gas)
  • Non-Utility Generation (purchased under contract): 5% (more coal)
  • Renewable: 2% (almost all hydro and biomass, plus a smidgen of solar)
  • Oil: 0%

Maybe Dominion considers everything except coal to be “clean”? That would add up to about 85%. Main concludes, “Nobody looking at these figures could find a basis in reality for a claim of 85% clean energy,” and wonders why, “if you have traveled this far into the realm of fantasy, why not claim 100%? Or heck, with a nod to Spinal Tap, why not 110%?”

Read the full article here.

Virginia Mercury added an editorial comment to Ivy Main’s article: “Editor’s note: Dominion says it has developed 1,200 megawatts of solar in nine states since 2013, with an estimated 5,200 megawatts that ‘could be added’ in the next 25 years.” Notice Dominion says could be added….