Richmond, VA -- Ahead of filing its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Dominion Energy communicated plans to end the buildout of its fracked gas infrastructure, a marked change in the company’s activity, and one which the recent passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) apparently prompted. Now, Dominion is claiming the state should not require the company to conduct a comprehensive analysis for a fracked gas buildout, as the company does not view such a buildout as viable.
However, questions remain about Dominion’s long-term intentions, and whether this proposal marks a move away from reliance on fracked gas or an opening to source it from elsewhere.
Jorge Aguilar, Southern Region Director for Food & Water Action, has issued the following statement:
“While we are enthusiastic about the suggestion Dominion will be moving away from fracked gas, in order for this effort to truly serve Virginia’s communities and environment, we need heavy state oversight and improved safeguards. Decisions about Virginia’s climate and energy future need to be made democratically, not by Dominion shareholders whose interests do not consistently align with the public good.
“The first order of business seems clear to us: Virginia needs to place an immediate halt on fracked gas infrastructure projects, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and construction on new gas plants, which not only spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere but also pollute the air and water locally with constant leaks, spills, and accidents. Dominion must pledge not to purchase fracked gas from outside gas plants, or else this is not a true move away from dirty fuels.
“An IRP is supposed to detail plans for the next 15 years, and we know the next 15 years are crucial for battling climate change by fostering an equitable renewable energy transition. We are thrilled for what could be a new beginning, but we need to see Dominion put their money where their mouth is -- and Governor Northam has a responsibility to make sure that happens.”