April 2015 News

4-30-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  McAuliffe Says Pipeline Must Protect the Environment.  “Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday reaffirmed his commitment to make sure that any pipeline built in Virginia protects the state’s environmental resources.  ‘It’s got to protect our environment,’ said McAuliffe, speaking on the ‘Ask the Governor’ monthly radio call-in show on WRVA in Richmond.  ‘Let’s pick the best route that doesn’t affect the homeowners. I want a route that doesn’t affect our pristine environmental areas.’  McAuliffe’s statements came in response to a caller who pointed out that at least two other pipeline routes are proposed to go through Virginia in addition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that is being promoted by Dominion Virginia Power.  The caller suggested that the best way forward would be a plan that consolidates the three pipeline routes to minimize environmental impact. He said he is also concerned that construction could disturb naturally occurring radioactive elements in soil in some parts of the state that could threaten well water, and said there had not been enough meetings on the projects.  McAuliffe briefly reiterated his support for the Dominion pipeline project, but spent more time assuring listeners that he wants a solution that is environmentally friendly and protects the environment and property rights.  ‘Let’s do it in a way…that is not intrusive to our beautiful environment,’ the governor said.”

4-30-15  Nelson County Times.  Nelson’s Small, Rural Communities Fear Consequences of Pipeline.  “Mack said the right of way of a 42-inch pipeline would be 125 feet wide during construction and 75 feet once in operation, except in areas such as road crossings and streams that require additional temporary work space for a protective buffer zone and extra dirt storage, ‘because we’re required to go deeper.’  In March, Schwiesow took measurements of his own to determine exactly how large the construction zone would be. While driving on Interstate 64, he got off at the exit for the Blue Ridge Parkway and measured the width of the interstate under the overpass. It was 130 feet.  ‘So Dominion wants to put an Interstate-sized superhighway through the middle of Fortune’s Point,’ he said. ‘How could that not destroy a small, six-property community?’”

4-30-15  News Leader.  County Leery of Pipeline Near Its Water Sources.  “If Augusta County had a say, it wouldn’t allow one of the alternative routes for Dominion’s proposed natural gas pipeline would run through sensitive and crucial water resources.  The Augusta County Service Authority has asked federal regulators for an audience to address concerns about pipeline construction and operation near groundwater sources on which county residents depend.  Dominion’s proposed route would send the pipeline through groundwater recharge areas in Churchville and Lyndhurst, the latter of which is the site of Augusta’s largest source of public groundwater supply, states a letter from Tracy Pyles, chairman of the service authority.  One route the company is exploring in Lyndhurst would send the pipeline through areas designated for future water resource development.  Pyles sent a letter on behalf of the authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission saying Dominion hadn’t adequately responded to the county’s concerns over groundwater supplies. The letter asks that a FERC representative meet with the service authority board.”

4-29-15  Time.  HSBC Advises Clients Against Fossil Fuel Investment.  “The growing concern over carbon pollution raises the possibility of a regulatory or tax crackdown, both at the national and international level. Newsweek reported on April 21 that HSBC wrote in a private note to its clients that there is an increasing risk that fossil fuel companies will become ‘economically non-viable.’ As a result, HSBC advised its clients to divest from fossil fuels because they may be too risky. If investors fail to get out of fossil fuels, the bank says, they ‘may one day be seen to be late movers, on ‘the wrong side of history.’’ As the divestment campaign builds up steam, major oil and gas companies are starting to see the writing on the wall.”

4-29-15  The Roanoke Times.  Dominion Questioned About Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Other Upcoming Projects.  “Dominion and its partners face new questions about the potential environmental impact not only of the natural gas pipeline they propose across Virginia, but also as many as three other projects that are proposed or waiting in the wings.

4-29-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Proposed Pipeline Faces New Questions as Federal Comment Period Closes.  “Dominion and its partners face new questions about the potential environmental impact not only of the natural gas pipeline they propose across Virginia, but also as many as three other projects that are proposed or waiting in the wings.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called this week for the current federal review of the project’s environmental impact to consider the cumulative effects of other ‘proposed and reasonably foreseeable projects’ in the state, as the energy industry pushes to move low-priced natural gas from the West Virginia shale fields to big users or to market.  The EPA’s comments, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as part of its environmental impact assessment of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, also warned against a pipeline through the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia that the Dominion-led partnership has proposed to supply natural gas to Hampton Roads…. The National Park Service warned that it lacks authority to approve a proposed pipeline crossing of the Appalachian Trail south of Humpback Rocks but is assessing an alternative proposed in February that would cross the trail on non-park service lands and drill through the mountain near the entrance to the Wintergreen resort…. The commission also received extensive comments from the U.S. Forest Service, which raised concerns about the potential harm from the pipeline route proposed through 30 miles of the George Washington and Monongahela national forests.  The forest service emphasized the need to build the pipeline along existing utility corridors; currently, about 4 percent of the proposed 550-mile route would follow existing utility and public rights-of-way.  Hundreds of written comments flooded the FERC at the end of a 60-day public comment period that the commission has declined to extend, despite calls from several local governments in the pipeline’s path that said their residents weren’t given a full and fair hearing…. Virginia’s two U.S. senators and a congressman also called for a longer comment period and additional hearings as part of the federal ‘scoping period’ for the environmental review… FERC has not responded publicly to the requests for additional time or more public hearings in addition to the 10 it held this spring in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina…. The Nature Conservancy, an environmental organization with major conservation projects in all three states that would be affected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, urged federal regulators to take a ‘programmatic approach’ that also assesses the environmental impact of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as two other proposed or potential projects in the region.  The organization said a programmatic environmental impact statement ‘would simultaneously consider the purpose and need of each project, the cumulative impacts of these projects on the Central Appalachian Region, and the optimal combination and alignment of pipelines to deliver gas’ to markets in the east and southeast.”

4-28-15  JMU News.  Film Takes Students Beyond Classroom.  “What started out as a project for a documentary film class has now taken four students on a journey far beyond what they expected.  When Abby Riggleman found out that the proposed Dominion Pipeline was to cross through her family’s backyard in Nelson County, she felt that she had to do something about it. She told her friend Danny McNew, who happened to be in a documentary film class. McNew then proposed the idea to his two group members, Art Pekun and Marley McDonald, as the topic for their class project…. ‘It was supposed to be a three-month project,’ McNew states. The four are now entering their eighth month on the project, ‘Won’t Pipe Down,’ after collecting days worth of footage and spending countless hours in editing.  The group started their education about the pipeline by attending an open house about the issue.  ‘From there we just made more contacts,’ McDonald says. ‘With documentary the nature of it is that the story keeps evolving as you keep gathering material.’  From there the students went to meetings, talked to Shenandoah Valley residents and attended protests…. Last semester, the students produced a 17-minute version of the documentary for DOCfest, which showcases JMU student-produced documentaries. They also submitted the documentary to film competitions, receiving an honorable mention from the Broadcast Education Association and winning Best Documentary Film at the Film and Renewal: William and Mary 2015 Global Film Festival…. ‘It becomes kind of an educational tool as well, to create awareness about what’s going on,’ Wright says. ‘It’s empowering in a way to be able to use your media skills to change things.’”

4-27-15  The Daily Progress.  Opinion/Editorial:  More Talks on Pipeline Necessary.  “To quash accusations that it is playing favorites, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should hold at least one more hearing on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  This, admittedly, would be an unusual concession, requiring a second extension of a pre-established comment period…. On its website, the agency cites ‘regulatory certainty through consistent approaches and actions’ as one of its top goals. It also strives to conduct its business and reach its conclusions ‘in an expeditious manner.’  But FERC also says: ‘Paramount in all of its proceedings is the Commission’s determination to be open and fair to all participants.’  A third goal cites the importance of ‘stakeholder involvement.’  And therein lies the rub.  A number of ‘stakeholders’ — landowners and others who could be directly affected by the path chosen for the pipeline — believe they were not treated fairly by the agency. The disaffection is particularly strong in Nelson County, where some 125 people were unable to comment at a recent public hearing.  They claim they were given inaccurate instructions on how to sign up to speak at the hearing, resulting in their arriving too late to get on the agenda. Many believe this action was deliberately misleading.”

4-26-15  The Telegraph.  US to Launch Blitz of Gas Exports, Eyes Global Energy Dominance.  “The United States is poised to flood world markets with once-unthinkable quantities of liquefied natural gas as soon as this year, profoundly changing the geo-politics of global energy and posing a major threat to Russian gas dominance in Europe…. John Hess, the founder of Hess Corporation, said it takes a unique confluence of circumstances to pull off a fracking revolution: landowner rights over sub-soil minerals, a pipeline infrastructure, the right taxes and regulations, and good rock. ‘We haven’t seen those stars align yet,’ he said.  Above all it requires the acquiescence of the people. ‘It takes a thousand trucks going in and out to launch a (drilling) spud. Not every neighbourhood wants that,’ he said.”

4-24-15  ThinkProgress.  North America’s Oil and Gas Industry Has Taken over 7 Million Acres of Land Since 2000.  “Millions of acres of land across the U.S. and Canada has been taken over by oil and gas development in the last 12 years, according to a new study.  The study, published Friday in Science, tallied up the amount of land that’s been developed to house drilling well pads, roads, and other oil and gas infrastructure in 11 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. It found that between 2000 and 2012, about 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) have been turned over to oil and gas development, a stretch of land that, combined, is equal to three Yellowstone National Parks.  This land takeover can have ecological consequences, according to the report.  ‘Although small in comparison with the total land area of the continent, this important land use is not accounted for and creates additional pressures for conserving rangelands and their ecosystem functions,’ the report states. ‘The distribution of this land area has negative impacts: increasing fragmentation that can sever migratory pathways, alter wildlife behavior and mortality, and increase susceptibility to ecologically disruptive invasive species.’”

4-24-15  The Roanoke Times.  Survey for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Approved in Part of National Forest in West Virginia.  “The U.S. Forest Service has approved a permit to survey part of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for a proposed natural gas pipeline.  The temporary permit for the survey involves 17 miles of forest through Randolph and Pocahontas counties.  The Charleston Gazette reports the yearlong survey will include studies of plants and animals, wetlands, water, soil and cultural resources.”

4-23-15  Power for the People VA.  McAuliffe Touts Gas and Nuclear, Says It’s Not His Job to Worry About Risks.  Opinion blog.  “A forum on climate change held last Wednesday in Richmond was supposed to be about moving to clean energy, but it sometimes seemed to be more of a platform for Governor Terry McAuliffe to tout plans for more natural gas and nuclear energy in the Commonwealth. It wasn’t that he neglected energy efficiency, wind and solar—he had plenty of good things to say about these, and even a few initiatives to boast of. It was just that they paled against the backdrop of massive new natural gas and nuclear projects, to which he seems even more firmly committed…. McAuliffe’s enthusiasm for big projects that promise more business for Virginia (and Dominion) has also caused ongoing friction between the Governor and members of the public over natural gas pipelines. This led to the incident at the conference that grabbed headlines, with an angry protester trying to shout down the Governor.  At issue was McAuliffe’s support for Dominion’s controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline…. Pipeline opponents had brought into the New Republic event a banner reading ‘McAuliffe: Pipeline will be Climate Chaos.’ During the Q&A period the protester reminded McAuliffe that he had once opposed natural gas fracking in Virginia.  But McAuliffe remained unruffled even as the protester hurled insults at him, until she was escorted from the room. ‘We’re not doing the fracking here,’ he said, by way of explaining his support for the pipeline. ‘The fracking is done elsewhere. I’m not, as the governor of Virginia, going to stop fracking in America today.’ Therefore, he concluded, we might as well take advantage of the fracking going on elsewhere to ‘bring cheap gas to parts of Virginia that can open up and build the economy.’  It seemed no one had alerted him to research indicating the gas boom will start to go bust just five years from now. If that happens, of course, higher gas prices will make the Governor’s manufacturing renaissance go bust, too, leaving Virginia worse off than before. Coupled with Dominion’s plans to bring online a staggering 4,300 MWs of new natural gas generating plants by 2019, Virginia is putting itself at the mercy of a natural gas market that is entirely outside our control.  But when I asked the Governor if he wasn’t worried about the risks of over-investing in natural gas, he shrugged off the concern. It’s not his job to review Dominion’s plans, he said.  Well, sure. But there’s a problem with cheerleading for every big energy project that comes along and taking no responsibility for their downsides. This is the ‘all of the above’ strategy that brought us the climate crisis. From a governor who knows climate change is happening before our eyes in Virginia, we’re still hoping for better.”

4-23-15  NBC 29.  Dominion Delaying Offshore Wind Power Project.  “Efforts to bring offshore wind energy to the commonwealth had a set-back Thursday.  Dominion Virginia Power announced its pilot project to put two wind turbines off the coast are on hold due to cost issues.  Representatives with Dominion say the company needs more time to work with experts from within the states and abroad to see how to drive down the cost of the project.  ‘It’s never been done in this country. Anywhere in the United States; West Coast, East Coast, Gulf of Mexico,’ said Dominion Director of Media Relations David Botkins.  Assuming there’s no mishaps during the construction process, it could cost nearly $400 million build the two turbines. Dominion had earlier estimated the cost closer to $230 million. The experimental turbines would provide electricity to about 3,000 homes…. The goal was to have the two turbines fully operational by 2017, but it’s unlikely that timeline will be kept now.  The long-term vision has been to build these two turbines, and then expand the project to up to hundreds of turbines off the coast.”

4-22-15  Bloomberg Business.  Half of U.S. Fracking Companies Will Be Dead or Sold This Year.  “Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said.  There could be about 20 companies left that provide hydraulic fracturing services, Rob Fulks, pressure pumping marketing director at Weatherford, said in an interview Wednesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. Demand for fracking, a production method that along with horizontal drilling spurred a boom in U.S. oil and natural gas output, has declined as customers leave wells uncompleted because of low prices.”

4-22-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Battle Escalates over Extending Comment Period on Proposed Pipeline.  “Virginia’s two U.S. senators and a member of the state’s congressional delegation want federal regulators to allow more time and public hearings for opponents of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to have their say.… The public comment period for an environmental review of the project at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has become an early battleground over the proposed $5 billion, 550-mile pipeline, with opponents seeking more time and hearings to make their case and supporters warning against any delay in the regulatory process…. But Sens. Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine, both Virginia Democrats, asked FERC this week to extend the comment period and hold additional public hearings in Nelson and Augusta counties, where opposition to the project has been fiercest and concern about the fairness of the regulatory process has been deepest.  ‘Public meetings are only beneficial if they allow for maximum participation and airing of different viewpoints, and we believe Nelson and Augusta County residents deserve the full opportunity for comment that was not provided at the previous meeting,’ wrote Warner and Kaine, who previously had raised concerns with FERC about how the hearings were handled.  Last week, Rep. Robert Hurt, R-5th, asked the commission to schedule an additional hearing in Nelson and consider extending the scoping period because of concern that 125 county residents who had signed up to speak at a hearing last month were not able to do so.  Hurt, whose congressional district includes Nelson, acknowledged that the public could file written comments to FERC, but said, ‘I believe that the citizens who requested, but were not granted, time to comment verbally should be afforded an opportunity to share their perspectives in a public forum if they so choose.’”

4-22-15  Community Idea Stations (PBS and NPR).  McAuliffe Touts Environmental Record but Struggles with Activists.  “Terry McAuliffe made environmental issues a campaign issue in both his 2009 and 2013 campaigns for governor. Now that he’s in office, the reviews among environmentalists are mixed…. Some environmentalists say McAuliffe is not doing enough…. Several protestors unhappy with McAuliffe’s support for the Atlantic Coast Natural Gas Pipeline were ejected at the New Republic event after one aggressively questioned the Governor.  McAuliffe says there are hundreds of pipelines in Virginia today and that while he opposes fracking, he cannot stop it and therefore shouldn’t deprive Virginians from the opportunities brought by the pipeline.”

4-22-15  The Charlottesville Newsplex.  More Pros and Cons for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been generating contention because of its path through parts of Nelson County.  On Monday, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking for more public meetings in Nelson and Augusta counties to allow residents more chances to comment.  In the letter, they wrote, ‘In-person meetings provide invaluable access to FERC staff who can share their expertise and answer questions. Public meetings are only beneficial if they allow for maximum participation and airing of different viewpoints, and we believe Nelson and Augusta County residents deserve the full opportunity for comment that was not provided at the previous meeting.'”

4-22-15 The Charlottesville Newsplex.  CAAR Expresses Concern over Pipeline Property Rights.  “The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) is expressing concern over parts of the plans for the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  CAAR officials aren’t saying whether or not they support the pipeline, but they say they are worried about Dominion using eminent domain to seize land, because it may be unconstitutional. At least one local lawmaker agrees.  In a letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, CAAR says plans for the 550 mile natural gas pipeline through Nelson County bring up critical property rights issues. CAAR’s government affairs director Neil Williamson says the association wants Dominion to reach an agreement with all landowners in the pipeline’s path, instead of using eminent domain to get on property without permission.  Virginia law allows companies that kind of access but CAAR says it may be unconstitutional.  ‘We have a concern based upon the 2012 constitutional amendment regarding property rights, that we supported, may be in conflict with a 2009 law,’ Williamson said.  State Sen. Creigh Deeds say he agrees with CAAR and even co-sponsored a bill to reverse the statute.  ‘It’s akin to giving me permission to go in anyone’s backyard just to look around. That’s unconstitutional,’ said Deeds…. ‘You or I have the right to tell somebody to stay off our property, and in Nelson County, just because somebody wants to put a pipeline there, doesn’t mean they don’t have those same rights,’ said Deeds.”

4-21-15  The Farmville Herald.  Buckingham County Attorney to Review Pipeline Resolution.  “County supervisors in Buckingham have agreed to file a letter and resolution with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding the routing, environmental mitigation, process, and locality access of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).  The letter requests that the FERC delay the approval of the proposed ACP project for at least one year due to routing, economic, and other concerns…. Regarding the ability for localities to access the gas if the project is approved, Stish remarked, during last week’s meeting, ‘In conversations there, Dominion is demonstrating some tendencies where they…have become difficult and in my opinion…are playing a shell game with us.’  Stish said that Dominion, ‘since day one, has said that this gas is going to be accessible to localities…The bar is set so high…that any locality that doesn’t have a Kyanite Mining Corporation and that type of heat-process in it, already existing, it is going to have a really difficult, if not impossible time actually accessing this gas. In a word, it’s a lot of hooey.’  She called it unconscionable that a FERC scoping meeting was not held in Buckingham.”

4-21-15  SNL Financial.  FERC Observers Question Impact of Activist Tactics as Mass Protest Nears.  “With planned mass anti-FERC protests only a month away, some long-time agency observers are not convinced the protesters’ tactics will result in the change they are seeking. But activists emphasize that they are not planning to retreat in their attempts to transform the agency’s approach to evaluating proposed infrastructure projects…. ‘We think we’ve made progress. There is no question that there are more people who are aware of FERC, first of all. That’s progress,’ said Ted Glick, one of the leaders of Beyond Extreme Energy, the group that is organizing the May protest.  ‘We think there are more people who understand the basic role that FERC plays in terms of it being a rubberstamp for the gas industry and that it is very connected with the fossil fuel industry in general,’ Glick added…. Nau, who serves as vice president of Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community, believes FERC is operating under an outdated mandate that does not adequately reflect changed conditions in energy development and infrastructure. Congress or the courts need to force FERC to consider the changes going on in the energy industry, she said…. ‘I do not believe that FERC adequately understands the very drastic changes made to the American landscape given fracking as it exists today, both in terms of actual production, which is not regulated by FERC, and in terms of infrastructure related to the interstate transmission of natural gas,’ she said. ‘I do not believe that this type of growth was ever contemplated by Congress when it formed FERC in 1977.’  Nau does not believe FERC will change the way it views its mission. But she thinks it is crucial for activists to maintain pressure on the agency. ‘While FERC may not change the way it interprets its mission, there are things that absolutely can and must be changed,’ she said. ‘FERC has too long fostered an extremely cozy relationship with the natural gas industry that significantly places impacted communities at a disadvantage.’  Protests at FERC allow communities that otherwise feel powerless and isolated to unite, according to Nau. The small organizations in Myersville and Minisink that opposed compressor stations, or groups like Friends of Nelson, an organization in Nelson County, Va., opposed to Dominion Transmission’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, or Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community, a group that opposes Dominion’s proposed Cove Point LNG export terminal, ‘are unlikely to effect the type of change needed on a broader level,’ Nau said. Protests at FERC allow ‘communities to build on the experiences of other groups and to form broader coalitions,’ she explained.”

4-21-15  The Daily Progress.  CAAR, Wintergreen Owners Group Join Pipeline Opposition; 20,000 Comments in Favor of Project Submitted.  “Landowners in the path of the proposed 550-mile-long Atlantic Coast Pipeline are still facing uncertainty over whether Dominion Resources will acquire right-of-way on their property, but a regional real estate association is advocating for owners’ property rights in the process.  The president of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, Anita Dunbar, recently sent Gov. Terry McAuliffe a letter stating the association will be carefully watching Dominion as it moves forward in trying to complete the natural gas pipeline project.  ‘It is incumbent on your administration to ensure these citizens receive just compensation for their property rights infringement,’ Dunbar wrote…. The Wintergreen Property Owners Association joined the opposition by sending letters to association members Tuesday asking them to come out against a proposed route of the pipeline that would run through the area…. Greg Buppert, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, said the center would work with other alliance members to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to prepare a regional development plan that includes ‘all of the interstate pipelines proposed across the Virginia mountains.’  ‘Dominion hasn’t engaged in the kind of careful planning that could avoid or minimize the pipeline’s harm to local communities and natural resources,’ Buppert said. ‘Dominion drew a straight line on the map, and as a result, its route mostly ignores existing utility and road corridors and crosses miles of national forest lands.’”

4-21-15  NBC 29.  CAAR Weighs in on Atlantic Coast Pipeline Property Rights Concerns.  “The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) recently sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe highlighting their property rights concerns with the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will be constructed by Dominion Power and its partners. The project, which is currently under federal review, would transport natural gas about 550 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina – running through Nelson County.  Without taking a specific position on the project, CAAR raised constitutionality, restricted use of eminent domain, and landowner treatment including fair and equitable compensation as key issues that needed to be addressed throughout the siting and property acquisition process.”

4-21-15  NBC 29.  Wintergreen Property Owners Association Joins Pipeline Opposition.  “The association that represents thousands of property owners in Nelson County is blocking a proposed natural gas pipeline. The Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA) is joining the opposition to Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.  The association is sending out postcards to 3,600 property owners, urging them to get up to speed on the pipeline project. The association is also sending an opposition letter to federal regulators, the governor, and Virginia’s senators.  The nine-member board voted at a meeting Friday to join the opposition to Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  An alternate route would take the pipeline right through Wintergreen’s main gate and several properties. The association calls the pipeline a ‘potential scar’ on the natural setting its owners work to maintain.  ‘To have a pipeline or any right of way clearing go through our wooded entrance sort of detracts dramatically from the notion that we are serious about conservation,’ said WPOA Executive Director Russell Otis.”

4-21-15  Politico.  ‘Pipelines Blow up and People Die.’  “Oil and gas companies like to assure the public that pipelines are a safer way to ship their products than railroads or trucks. But government data makes clear there is hardly reason to celebrate. Last year, more than 700 pipeline failures killed 19 people, injured 97 and caused more than $300 million in damage. Two of the past five years have been the worst for combined pipeline-related deaths and injuries since 2000.  To understand the failure revealed by these numbers, POLITICO talked to more than 15 former and current federal pipeline officials and advisers, as well as dozens of safety experts, engineers and state regulators. We reviewed more than a decade of government data on fatalities, injuries, property damage, incident locations, inspections, damages and penalties.  The picture that emerges is of an agency that lacks the manpower to inspect the nation’s 2.6 million miles of oil and gas lines, that grants the industry it regulates significant power to influence the rule-making process, and that has stubbornly failed to take a more aggressive regulatory role, even when ordered by Congress to do so.  This is a particularly bad time for a front-line safety agency to take a backseat.  The current boom in fossil fuel production has created intense pressure for massive new pipelines like Keystone XL. Many of the pipes already in the ground are more than half a century old. Tens of thousands of miles of pipeline go completely unregulated by federal officials, who have abandoned the increasingly high-pressure lines to the states.  Meanwhile, fatal incidents continue.”

4-18-15  News Leader.  Kaine:  Natural Gas Key to Reducing Carbon Pollution.  “The development of natural gas energy that has led to controversial plans to run a 550-mile pipeline through Augusta County is an important transition towards cleaner power generation, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said Friday…. Local concerns over Dominion’s planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline are worth [sic] of careful consideration, and he has shared with federal regulators their issues with the public meeting held in Stuarts Draft in which some didn’t think they had a chance to air their grievances, Kaine said.”

4-16-15  StateImpact.  NPR.org.  Gas Industry Urges U.S. to Speed Approval of LNG Export Terminals.  “The natural gas industry’s leading trade group on Thursday stepped up pressure on the federal government to approve plans for liquefied natural gas export terminals, issuing a white paper which argues that the U.S. risks missing an opportunity to dominate the global market unless it acts quickly…. Durbin called on the DOE to issue a ‘blanket approval’ for LNG export terminals, and declare that they would be in the national interest. He welcomed last year’s DOE decision to scrap its ‘conditional approval’ stage but urged it to speed the process further by allowing applications to be passed to FERC more quickly…. The Industrial Energy Consumers of America, a trade group that says it represents manufacturers with some $1 trillion in sales, in January urged the Obama administration to avoid any further export terminal approvals until the DOE defines whether gas exports are in the public interest. IECA President Paul Cicio predicted that gas exports will drive up domestic prices in the same way that they have in Australia – one of the countries that ANGA says is poised to take market share from the U.S.  ‘The gas industry is promoting the same reckless anti-consumer policy that they did in Australia,’ Cicio told StateImpact in a statement. ‘Now, Australian consumers are being forced to buy the equivalent of higher LNG export prices and manufacturers are shutting their doors and power plants are taking action to convert back to coal.’  Meanwhile, environmentalists argue that increased sales of natural gas will spur higher production by an industry that they accuse of contaminating air and water with the by-products of the fracking process, and accelerating climate change.  ‘LNG exports are a terrible idea,’ said Iris Marie Bloom, director of the anti-fracking group Protecting Our Waters. ‘They would escalate climate change, due to the large greenhouse impacts from cradle to grave shale extraction.’”

4-15-15  Nelson County Times.  Few Legislators Take Stance on Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  “Although recent concerns with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s public comment process have spurred local legislators to urge transparency, few of those decision makers have taken an official stance in support or opposition to the project.  Reached by the Nelson County Times in the past week, the offices of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Rep. Robert Hurt, Va. Sen. Creigh Deeds, Del. Dickie Bell and Del. Matt Fariss all clarified their positions and offered comments on the proposed pipeline that would transport natural gas about 550 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina, through Nelson County.

4-15-15  News Leader.  Pipeline Protesters Disrupt McAuliffe Event.  “A trio of environmental activists who oppose the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in western Virginia confronted Gov. Terry McAuliffe during his appearance Wednesday at a public forum on climate change.  The protesters held a banner saying, ‘McAuliffe: ACP will be climate chaos.’… As they were escorted out the door, the activists continued to address the governor. ‘Everyone in the state can agree that climate change is about fossil fuels, and we need to divest and have no Atlantic pipeline,’ one demonstrator said.  ‘There are hundreds of pipelines in Virginia,’ McAuliffe responded. ‘Everyone acts like this is the first one being done. This pipeline is the latest technology. You talk about opening up communities … Nelson County needs help. They need economic development.’… The three activists, who did not claim affiliation to any particular group, oppose the 550-mile natural gas pipeline proposed by a partnership led by Richmond-based Dominion Resources. It would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Various groups are fighting the project, including the Virginia Sierra Club, Friends of Nelson and the Augusta County Alliance.”

4-15-15  The Cavalier Daily.  Climate Action Society Builds Mock Pipeline, Protests Dominion Power Proposal.  “Climate Action Society members assembled and unveiled a 55-foot long pipeline on the South end of the Lawn Monday in an effort to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline…. ‘The construction of a pipeline that cuts through Virginians’ property and our forests and landscapes, as an investment in fossil fuel combustion that is flooding our coastlines, sends a clear message that this place and these people are means to a short-term profit end,’ Beaman said. ‘I hope that people who see our exhibit and learn more about the [Atlantic Coast Pipeline] do feel violated and indignant.’”

4-14-15  Bloomberg.  Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables.  “The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back…. ‘The electricity system is shifting to clean,’ Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said in his keynote address. ‘Despite the change in oil and gas prices there is going to be a substantial buildout of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the buildout of coal and gas.'”

4-12-15  NBC 29.  Augusta Co. Sixth Graders Rap to Counter the Pipeline.  “Some Augusta County students are joining the ‘All Pain, No Gain’ anti-pipeline campaign in a creative way.  After a history lesson on property rights, several sixth-graders decided they wanted to take action and make sure their voices are heard in the fight against Dominion’s proposed natural gas pipeline.  So, they made a rap video about the pipeline and presented it at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting.  ‘Some people might think that kids don’t have a voice but we’re showing them that they do. No matter how small the person, everyone has a voice and deserves a say in what’s going on in their environment and their lives,’ says Kaelin Strickland, sixth grade student.”

4-12-15  Power for the People VA.  Dominion’s Natural Gas Gamble Looks Risky for Ratepayers.  Opinion blog.  “Dominion Resources and its regulated subsidiary, Dominion Virginia Power, are gambling big on natural gas. But while the utility giant will be a winner if gas prices stay low over the next 20 years, the risk of losing this bet is very real—and the risk is being borne disproportionately by Virginia consumers…. If Dominion’s assessment of the market is wrong, its shareholders will take a hit. Higher natural gas prices could make the export business fizzle, and there might not be enough customers to justify the pipeline buildout. That’s why the company is moving so quickly to build the three massive new natural gas generating plants in Virginia under the ownership of its regulated subsidiary. Dominion is protecting its bet by locking Virginia electricity customers into gas for the long term, guaranteeing itself a market not just for its natural gas generating plants but also for its pipeline business. If the shale boom becomes a bust, or if prices rise to pre-boom levels, it will be Virginia ratepayers who pay through the nose or get stuck with stranded assets.”

4-12-15  The Courier-Journal.  New Plan for Old Pipe:  Carry Fracked Liquids.  “With red dirt piled nearby on grassy green meadow, workers in a hole were welding a weak spot on Kentucky’s latest controversial pipeline — putting on a Band-aide, as one of them described it.  Just a few hundred yards from his home, physician James Angel approached the crew in his pickup truck, saying the maintenance only punctuated his fears about a Texas company’s plans for the natural gas pipeline that crosses his Marion County farm.  Under those plans, Kinder Morgan’s pipeline will carry a more dangerous product, natural gas liquids, in pipes buried seven decades ago in what Angel, a well-known urologist, described as the patriotic rush of World War II.  ‘If that line ruptures, it would kill me,’ he said. ‘It would kill my family, and it would poison our (community’s) water supply. It’s a threat to everybody I take care of in this county.'”

4-11-15  The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Reigister.  ‘Heavy Rains’ Cited in Marshall Pipeline Failure.  “Williams Energy officials believe wet weather over the last few days disturbed Marshall County’s landscape enough to cause two of its natural gas pipelines to rupture in less than three hours late Thursday…. ‘Company personnel believe heavy rains in the area, which may have destabilized soils, were a contributing factor,’ Williams’ spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said.”

4-9-15  Los Angeles Times.  California Regulators Fine PG&E a Record $1.6 Billion in San Bruno Blast.  “California regulators approved a record $1.6-billion fine against the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., even as the new president of the Public Utilities Commission publicly questioned the company’s commitment to safety.  The fine for violating state and federal pipeline safety standards was prompted by the 2010 explosion of a PG&E natural gas transmission line that killed eight people and leveled parts of a neighborhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.”

4-8-15  NBC 29.  Sen. Kaine Asking FERC to Revise Policies.  “U.S. Senator Tim Kaine has sent a letter to federal regulators, asking them to consider making ‘appropriate changes’ to their scoping meeting process.  Sen. Kaine says he has received several letters from people in Nelson County about a public hearing held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month.  Many claim FERC didn’t provide everyone a fair chance to voice their concerns about Dominion Resource’s proposed natural gas pipeline.  Those letters claim Dominion stacked the speaker list at the event to favor pro-pipeline speakers.”

4-8-15  SNL Financial.  Activist Groups Petition Va. Governor to Rethink Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  “Activists on April 7 delivered a 5,000-signature petition to the Virginia governor’s office, demanding that Terry McAuliffe withdraw his support of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline project, according to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.  The environmental advocates and Virginia landowners behind the petition expressed concerns about how the proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline would affect the properties along the pipeline route and said the project would support activities that contribute to climate change…. Salidis, whose organization represents a county the pipeline would traverse, said in an April 8 interview that she and other landowners object to the assumption that the project’s benefits outweigh its potential negative effects on landowners and the climate. While it is not uncommon for state leaders to speak favorably of business developments, these statements carry different weight when applied to parties — such as pipeline builders — that may be granted the power of eminent domain, Salidis said.  ‘The problem is that the ACP is not comparable to a private party wanting to build a factory. Private parties wanting to build factories are explicitly barred from using eminent domain,’ Salidis said. ‘It’s not that we need the governor to say, ‘I’m opposed to the ACP.’ What we want him to say is, ‘Let’s look at the facts and determine that there is a public need here that would [outweigh] the public harm.””

4-8-15  NBC 29.  Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC to Reissue Pipeline Survey Letters.  “Some landowners will soon see new letters requesting permission to survey their land for the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline project.  Dominion Power says it will re-issue letters addressed from the corporation overseeing the project and not from Dominion itself.  That follows a Suffolk court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against a landowner after it was filed by Dominion and not the Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC.  If landowners still fight the survey request after proper notification, the company will again consider legal action.”

4-8-15  The Daily Progress.  Dominion to Withdraw Lawsuits Against Landowners over Pipeline Surveys—and Start Over.  “Dominion Transmission Inc. is withdrawing lawsuits against 116 landowners who had refused access to their properties to survey the route of a proposed pipeline from West Virginia to the southeastern coast of Virginia and North Carolina.  And then the company, as part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, will start the process over…. The pipeline company is sending out new notices in response to a ruling by a Suffolk Circuit judge late last month that found the Atlantic Coast Pipeline had no standing to sue landowners under the state law because the notice had come from Dominion Transmission…. Nelson and Augusta have been at the forefront of opposition to the pipeline. Of the 116 lawsuits the pipeline company is withdrawing, 68 were in Nelson and 35 were in Augusta.”

4-7-15  News Leader.  Basic Questions About Pipeline Remain Unanswered.  Opinion piece by Nancy Sorrells, co-chair of the Augusta County Alliance.  “Pinning Dominion down on such basic questions that will affect the very essence of Augusta County is more difficult than herding cats or nailing Jell-O to a tree. It would be laughable if the potential risks and impacts to our community now and for future generations weren’t so great.  Instead of putting all their time and money into the kinds of shenanigans that occurred at the Nelson and Augusta scoping meetings, or the full page ads filled with misinformation about jobs and the ability to hook onto this 42-inch high pressure pipeline (you do know that it would cost $5.5 million to tap into and use the line locally, right?), wouldn’t it be nice for Dominion to take a lesson from its own playbook – the public involvement plan that it filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission back in the fall? In that document, Dominion says that the most important element of its approach to public involvement ‘is to build trust with stakeholders through meaningful dialogue…’ Further, the company asserts that: ‘We will treat stakeholders, regardless of their views about the ACP, with seriousness and respect in all dealings,’ and ‘We will be direct, straightforward and transparent in our dealings with stakeholders and we will provide them with access to timely, accurate, and complete information about the Project.’  Really, Dominion?”

4-7-15  Tricities.com.  Groups Present Petition Asking McAuliffe to Rescind Support of Pipeline.  “Groups opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline offered petitions Tuesday with more than 5,000 signatures to the administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, asking the governor to rescind his support for the project…. In addition to the petitions, activists offered a 40-foot inflatable pipeline bearing the words ‘No New Pipeline!’…  In a press release, Sorrells said the pipeline ‘has no upside’’ for residents of western Virginia. ‘Our property rights are ignored, our precious water resources are threatened, our public safety is compromised, our environmental and historic resources ravaged, and our farm and properties devalued. In return we get nothing,’’ Sorrells said.  Joanna Salidis, president of Friends of Nelson, said confidence in government has been shaken by the pipeline project. ‘Our confidence that the regulatory process, or our government itself, will protect the public, has been severely eroded, especially as we see how Dominion controls energy policy in Virginia,’ she said.”

4-7-15  NBC 12.  Virginians Hope Pipeline Plan Runs out of Gas.  “The three-state Atlantic Coast Pipeline set to run through Central Virginia is getting the attention of residents throughout the Commonwealth.  Tuesday, the group came to Richmond to take its message to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, along with 5,000 signatures from concerned landowners and citizens hoping to stop the pipeline. In the past, McAuliffe has come out in support of the project, but the hope is the signatures will help change his mind.  A small group gathered in Richmond with a big message: ‘NO NEW PIPELINES.’  ‘I feel deeply violated, I really do, by Dominion’s plans to put their pipeline on my property,’ said Joanna Salidis, who traveled from her home in Nelson County to weigh in on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Salidis traveled from her home in Nelson County to weigh in on the pipeline project.  ‘We love our home and we don’t want it converted into an energy super highway for Dominion,’ Salidis said.”

4-7-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Dominion to Withdraw Lawsuits Against Landowners over Pipeline Surveys—and Start Over.  “Dominion Transmission Inc. is withdrawing lawsuits against 116 landowners who had refused access to their properties to survey the route of a proposed pipeline from West Virginia to the southeastern coast of Virginia and North Carolina.  And then the company, as part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, will start the process over…. ‘Everybody will just deny the surveys again and we’ll all end up in court again,’ said Charlotte Rea, among a group of Nelson County property owners who filed suit against the company over the survey law last year…. In addition to the survey law, opponents are angry about the use of eminent domain to take property if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grants a certificate of public need for the project.  ‘Eminent domain is supposed to be reserved for those cases in which the public good outweighs the public harm,’ said Joanna Salidis, president of Friends of Nelson, one of six groups that presented the governor’s office Tuesday with petitions with more than 5,000 signatures of people opposed to the pipeline.”

4-7-15  Suffolk News-Herald.  Pipeline Drops Lawsuits.  “Following a ruling in Suffolk Circuit Court last month, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is dropping more than 100 lawsuits against landowners in Virginia whom it sought to compel to allow surveyors on their properties.  Fifth Circuit Judge Carl Eason on March 24 agreed with attorneys for a Suffolk property owner, Davis Boulevard LLC, that it had not been given notice by the correct party as outlined in state law…. ‘Most of our clients are relieved that they are no longer parties to a lawsuit,’ Lollar said, noting it had been the first time being sued for most of them. ‘But they are concerned about what the future may bring and hope Dominion/Atlantic Coast Pipeline will do the right thing and move this pipeline crossing out of the Commonwealth entirely.’  Other clients, Lollar said, ‘are bitter about having been sued in the first place simply because they refused to allow strangers to come on their land to survey, run tests and remove ‘any items of cultural interest’ in order to acquire, against their will, a permanent easement running through their land to realize a huge profit at their expense.’  Lollar said he will argue the constitutional issue he sees at stake when his clients, as he anticipates many of them will do, deny permission again.”

4-7-15 NBC 29.  Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Opponents Protest in Richmond.  “People against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline want Governor Terry McAuliffe to rescind his support of the project, and they took their fight to Richmond Tuesday.  An anti-pipeline coalition rallied at the state capitol, delivering what members say are 5,000 petitions against the project. A 40-foot inflatable ‘pipeline’ in front the governor’s office helped illustrate their point.  The coalition represents several groups who are in opposition to the pipeline including Friends of Nelson, Friends of Buckingham, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environmental Action, Augusta County Alliance, and The Sierra Club.”

4-6-15  NBC 29.  Dominion’s Alt. Pipeline Path Stalls Development of Nelson Co. Resort.  “An architect in Nelson County is building a unique bed and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains to resemble a German village.  Now, he says a planned natural gas pipeline threatens to end his business before it ever gets started. ‘All my time, all my efforts, and everything we’ve had and more is in this, so this is our, this is our dream,’ says William Fenton.  Fenton strolls through the grand complex he’s building with his wife in the woods near wintergreen resort, but when he looks to the horizon, ‘there’ll be the cut through the mountain there,’ he explains the construction nightmare that he sees…. Fenton’s talking about an alternate route proposed for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Dominion released new maps more than a month ago.  Fenton says he just learned that route would go through his property. ‘We actually got notified three days ago, which is long after the FERC meetings and everything else that we were supposed to be notified about. They said it was a clerical error.’  Now, Fenton fears all those tourists he hoped will support his business might not come.”

4-5-15  The Daily Progress.  Governor Gets It Wrong on Nelson, Pipeline.  Opinion piece.  “During a March 26 radio interview with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a caller asked a question regarding the proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The governor did not answer the question, but did offer the following remark. ‘Nelson County – I think it’s our smallest population county in Virginia.’ He went on to reaffirm his support for the pipeline.  First of all, his remark was totally inaccurate. Nelson was Virginia’s 23rd smallest county as of July 2014, according to the University Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Highland was the smallest with a population of 2,297. Nelson’s population was 15,074.  Why did the governor make this remark? Does he view Nelson as tiny and insignificant regarding its number of voters? Is this why he has answered citizen concerns about the pipeline with form letters? Or, is it that he views the nearly 15,000 lives that could be affected by the pipeline as an acceptable number? Was the population of counties like Highland, Nelson and Buckingham the determining factor behind Dominion’s path for the pipeline? And isn’t this acknowledgment of something on Dominion’s part? Structures per mile determine the classification of natural gas pipelines. The path chosen by Dominion will make it a Class 1 location pipeline. This means less regulation.”

4-2-15  StateImpact: NPR.  Pipelines:  The New Battleground over Fracking.  “While producers and utilities try to expand their infrastructure, the pipeline construction boom has run up against opposition in small towns and rural areas where environmentalists and residents are pushing back. Some opponents simply don’t want their land disturbed, or taken by eminent domain. But other activists see pipelines as part of a larger mission to end drilling altogether.  ‘The pipelines are being built in order to induce more drilling and fracking,’ said Maya van Rossum with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. ‘And of course more drilling and fracking results in the need for more pipelines. So the two are inextricably intertwined and if you oppose one, truthfully, you have to oppose the other.'”

4-1-15  Beyond Dominion Sentinel.  Friends of Nelson:  Interview with Ernie Reed, Vice President of Friends of Nelson County, and President of Wild Virginia.  “Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is currently routed through four counties in western VirginiaHighland, Augusta, Nelson and Buckinghamup to the West Virginia line.  Our entire county is based on tourism and recreation. Dominion wants to slice this thing across the Appalachian Trail, across the Blue Ridge Parkway and through 30 miles of national forest.”

4-1-15  Nelson County Times.  Local, State Officials Question FERC on Scoping Process.  “Local and state officials have sent letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission questioning its policies and asking for additional time and opportunity to weigh in on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.… At the Nelson meeting, only 78 of the 203 people who had signed up were able to speak. Many residents felt the signup process had been unfair and favored those who were for the pipeline, who all spoke first at the meeting because they had signed up earlier…. Mary O’Driscoll, director of media relations at FERC, said the agency does not comment on written letters but will respond to Warner…. O’Driscoll has said that scoping meetings are not required by FERC, nor does FERC make times for the opening and closing of sign ups publicly known.  She did not know if FERC had received the Nelson board’s letters yet and said she could not comment further on the letters.”

4-1-15  Daily Press.  Dominion Resources CEO Farrell Made $17.3M in 2014.  “Energy provider Dominion Resources Inc. awarded its CEO a pay package valued at $17.3 million in fiscal 2014, up 59 percent from the previous year, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing…. The 60-year-old, who has served as chairman, president and CEO since April 2007, also was given other compensation worth about $176,000, which included personal flights on company-owned planes and company car allowances…. Dominion also said it will hold its annual shareholders meeting May 6 in Glen Allen, Virginia, where shareholders will elect 10 directors to Dominion’s board.  Dominion shareholders also will consider seven proposals, including one asking Dominion to adopt goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reports on climate change, biomass and methane emissions.”

4-1-15  The Roanoke Times.  Atwood:  Dominion Power Short-Circuits Virginia Governance and Environment.  Opinion piece by Dennis Atwood, a member of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley.  “Dominion Virginia Power (the ‘new’ dominion), the commonwealth’s dominant electric utility, has far too much influence in the governmental processes of the Old Dominion, juiced by high-voltage campaign contributions.  This inordinate influence was on stark display in the recently concluded General Assembly session, exhibit A being the enactment of the ‘Electric utility regulation; suspension of regulatory reviews of utility earnings’ bill (SB 1349), authored by one of Dominion’s leading abettors, Sen. Frank Wagner, R-7th District, Norfolk-Virginia Beach)…. From Dominion’s largess, Wagner received $3,000 in campaign contributions in 2014-15 and $43,100, as well as $5,468 in gifts, over his General Assembly career.  The bill was largely authored by Dominion Power, subjected to a sham hearing in both chambers, and, regrettably, signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, even though Attorney General Mark Herring opposed it…. Dominion not only engages in dirty politics, it also ranks dead last in progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency among all state utilities, according to the corporate watchdog group CERES…. According to Federal Elections Commission information, 22 states have laws that prohibit political campaign contributions by regulated industries and/or utilities. It’s past time that Virginia join that group.  Dominion Power’s inordinate political and governance influence, as well as its abysmal climate change and energy efficiency record, need to be key 2015 campaign issues and the subjects of must-pass legislation for the 2016 General Assembly.”