Wind Turbines -- in the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Utility Company
( Dominion Resources Inc. )
Is Blocking Progress

(2012 May blog post)

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Note: Some more links and further information may be added in the future.

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Press newspaper, Newport News, VA,
2012 May 08:
 ( submitted, but not published ; too long, no doubt )


The article (in the Tuesday, 2012 May 08, Daily Press) on Gamesa not building a wind turbine in the Chesapeake Bay quoted Gov. McDonnell thus: "The fact is, Virginia and Gamesa did their parts, but this project will not move forward due to the ongoing lack of a true national energy policy ..."

    [In addition to the link above to the text of the Daily Press article, here is a link to a Richmond Times-Dispatch article, with the quote.]

Virginia did their part???!!!

This conveniently overlooks the article in the 2012 Mar 03 Daily Press titled "Dominion asks feds to delay Google's wind line".

The first two paragraphs of that article say:

"Dominion Resources Inc. asked the federal government to suspend a Google-backed venture to build a $5 billion transmission line for future offshore wind power projects in the Atlantic Ocean."

"The Richmond-based utility said Atlantic Wind Connection's request for a right-of-way through potential lease areas off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey is premature, according to documents filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management." etc. etc.

    [Here is a link to a DailyPress article with the quotes. Sounds like a lot of cronyism that is going to delay progress and make any wind system super expensive due to all the hands in the money pot. The region's electricity grid operator, PJM Interconnection, seems to have a strangle-hold on progress. Let's hope that they are benevolent dictators who consider the good of the country, not just the good of some coal-based utility companies.]

It is actions like these (from Dominion's "director of renewable energy research and program development", Guy Chapman) that show that the U.S. energy industry is scared of an energy industry with new players with whom they would have to split the profits.

I will bet $500 that Dominion's foot-dragging action is the major reason why Gamesa withdrew from the project to build wind turbines off the Virginia coast.

It's sad that the "director of renewable energy program development" (Chapman) is trying to stop what he is supposed to be trying to develop. But it is certainly no surprise, since Dominion has one of the worst payback systems for reimbursing home owners for (solar) energy generated, of all the states in the U.S.

And, on top of this, showing how much Dominion disregards the health of the customers in the regions it serves, Dominion has been pushing hard to build a coal-fired power plant, in Dendron, just to the west of the ten-plus cities in the Hampton Roads area. This plant will be raining down particulate matter and carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and metals for years to come.

Concerning (oil) lease areas: It seems the East Coast is ignorant of what the West Coast went through in the 1960's when their beaches were so covered with tar balls from offshore drilling that you could not walk the beaches without getting tar on your feet.

The entities to watch (for bad behavior) are

  • centralized utility companies scared to death of distributed energy initiatives

  • coal companies that are plowing down mountain tops into streams

  • gas exploration companies refusing to reveal what is in the fluids they are pumping over, under, and through aquifers --- and whose fracking may be leading to more earthquakes --- near nuclear plants

  • oil companies who want their 'depreciation' tax breaks for pumping out of the ground, in a couple of hundred years, what it took millions of years to lay down and transform into fluid energy.

These are the companies that are putting full-page 'we are green' ads into the newspaper --- then, a few months later, inserting themselves (e.g. Dominion), directly or indirectly, into government agencies to stop the development of relatively clean, relatively interminable energy resources.

These are the companies that are putting full-page 'we are green' ads into the newspaper --- then, a few months later, fouling the Gulf of Mexico and stone-walling the investigation into who was responsible for taking all the drilling 'shortcuts' (e.g. BP --- next, Shell in Alaska).

If these companies are 'people' (per recent Supreme Court ruling), they are not good citizens. They should not be allowed to distort our elections with money distributed by their CEO's --- with no distribution to political organizations in proportion to the wishes of the company investors and employees.

The investors (and employees) have no say in how the political donations are distributed, yet, if it weren't for them, these companies would fall down. The investors are propping up these companies (and their CEO's) --- in this nearly-a-Ponzi-scheme called the stock market.

Is that the kind of country and political system that the founding fathers envisioned? A political system dominated by money distributed by a few --- when it isn't even their personal money that they are distributing? Sounds like theft to me.

Bah! Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are standing up against this nonsense. We need a 3rd party --- a Responsible-Government party --- a For-the-Entire-Country party.


A Postscript

It is laughable that Gov. McDonnell blames the withdrawl of Gamesa from the wind turbine project on "the ongoing lack of a true national energy policy".

We can see above that Dominion Resources was a major cause of Gamesa's withdrawl from the project. Gamesa could not risk continuing the project with Dominion Resources throwing road-blocks in the way.

McDonnell has plenty of Republican friends in the House of Representatives. Why doesn't he get them to draft a 'national energy policy' bill?

If he got them to do that, does he really think that those BigOil and BigCoal Republicans would draft an energy policy bill that would promote wind turbines? Would anyone like to bet any money on that?

China, Denmark, & the Netherlands (and even little Aruba)
are kicking U.S. asses in this wind infrastructure area.

We need to get started. It's going to take about 10 years
to get the wind-energy 'production setup' going.

Here is a page on 'limited oil' that demonstrates that time is a-wastin'.

Bottom of Wind Turbines - Dominion Resources Blocking Them page.

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Posted on 2012 May 08.
Added links to the text of a couple of 2012 Daily Press articles, 2014 Sep 13.