Wind Turbine Project
in the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Utility Company
( Dominion Resources Inc. )
Is Holding-Up Progress

(2012 May blog post)

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This page on Dominion-Resources-Stonewalling-Wind-Turbine-Development
(after being given exclusive rights to develop the offshore plot)

! Note !
More links and further information may be added
in the future --- if/when I re-visit this page.

Introduction :

The article (in the Tuesday, 2012 May 08, Daily Press) on Gamesa not building a wind turbine in the Chesapeake Bay quoted Virginia Governor Bob 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 ..."

Virginia did their part???!!!

Virginia, in the form of Dominion Resources and Governor McDonnell himself, helped drive Gamesa away.

This Daily Press article conveniently overlooks the 2-months-earlier 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 the text of a DailyPress article with the quotes. It 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 interference and 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.

Dominion seems to be quite happy to spend a lot of time and resources on a coal project, but not on a wind turbine project for which the federal government awarded them exclusive rights to develop.

Competitors to (and obstructors of) wind-energy development:

Rather than develop offshore wind energy, some politicians are pushing to develop oil drilling in offshore waters of Virginia.

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 energy industry entities to watch (for bad behavior) are

  • utility companies (like Dominion) who are busy with coal, gas, and nuclear energy plants --- too occupied with those to do proper development of wind energy projects

  • centralized utility companies scared to death of distributed energy initiatives, like solar energy, that could get out of their control

  • gas pipeline companies (like Dominion) pushing through unpopular pipeline projects when other energy projects, like wind and solar energy, would provide better energy supply options in the long-term

  • coal companies that are plowing down mountain tops into streams while claiming to be developing 'clean coal'

  • 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 exploration and production (E & P) 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 --- and who do not care what they do to the environment --- whether tar balls on beaches or heat generation into the atmosphere

These are the companies that are putting full-page 'we are green' ads into the newspaper --- then, a few months later, inserting themselves (for example, 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' (for example, BP in the Gulf --- then, Shell in Alaska).

If these energy 'companies are people' (per recent Supreme Court ruling), they are not good citizens. They should not be allowed to distort our elections and legislation with money distributed by their CEO's. The CEO's are not super-majority owners in these companies.

That company 'political' money should be distributed to political organizations (such as lobbyists) in proportion to the votes of the company investors and employees --- with the political organizations placed on a ballot.

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.

In Conclusion:

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 U.S. House of Representatives. Why doesn't he get them to draft a 'national energy policy' bill?

If he tried to get the House to do that, do you think that those BigOil and BigCoal Republicans would draft an energy policy bill that would help promote wind turbine projects? Would anyone like to bet any money on that?

Bah! Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are standing up against this fossil-fuels-only and horribly-unclean-nuclear nonsense. We need a 3rd party --- a Responsible-Government party --- a For-the-Entire-Country party.

China, Denmark, and the Netherlands (and even little Aruba)
are kicking U.S. asses in the 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 world oil'
that demonstrates that time is a-wastin'.

Bottom of this
Wind Turbine Project - Dominion Resources Holding It Up page.

(after being given the exclusive right to develop a federally-approved plot off the shore of Virginia)

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Page was posted on 2012 May 08.

Page was changed 2014 Sep 13.
(Added 2 links to the locally-stored text of a couple of 2012 Daily Press articles.)

Page was changed 2018 Nov 10.
(Added css and javascript to try to handle text-size for smartphones, esp. in portrait orientation.)