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RICHMOND, VA. – After three days of testimony, proceedings at the State Corporation Commission to consider Dominion Energy’s “Integrated Resource Plan” have concluded. The Commission will now determine, based on the evidence, whether Dominion’s long-term plan to meet electricity needs is reasonable and in the public interest. The Southern Environmental Law Center represented Appalachian Voices in the matter.
As part of the planning process, Dominion provided five alternative plans. All of the plans significantly increase carbon emissions at least through 2039, and most of the plans do not even comply with Dominion’s own public commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In response to the week’s proceedings, SELC attorneys and Appalachian Voices staff released the following statements.
“These plans are supposed to show how Dominion will keep the lights on for millions of Virginians while following the requirements of the Virginia Clean Economy Act and other relevant laws. Instead, Dominion is asking the SCC to approve plans that fail to meet the company’s own net zero goals and fail to reduce emissions as required by law,” said Peter Anderson, Director of State Energy Policy with Appalachian Voices. “As a result we have no assurance that Dominion will decarbonize its power system.”
“During the hearing, Dominion also explained that at this stage of its planning process, it did not see the value in evaluating the potential impacts to communities living in close proximity to its power plants, even though all of its plans would increase emissions and other harmful pollutants from these facilities,” said Rachel James, a Southern Environmental Law Center Associate Attorney in Virginia.
“Rather than performing this important analysis or engaging with environmental justice while developing these plans, Dominion made clear that it will only engage with these communities when the utility has already decided what it wants to build and where,” said James. “We’re already seeing this problematic approach unfold with the recently proposed Chesterfield gas plants.”