Dominion Energy Joins Consortium Demanding Climate Change Legislation

Image credit: Power for the People VA

I am not making this up.  Yesterday, Dominion Energy joined a newly launched coalition of more than a dozen major corporations and environmental groups – CEO Climate Dialog.  This organization will urge Congress to pass climate change legislation.  Example members of the group include BP – an oil and gas company, Citibank, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Exelon – a power company and The Nature Conservancy, an environmental organization.

Six principles. The coalition published its six guiding principles on its website.  My summary:

  1. Make the US “demonstrably a leader on global efforts to effectively limit climate change” by reducing greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050.
  2. Focus on emission reduction outcomes rather than specific resources or technologies.
  3. Use an “economy-wide price on carbon” to encourage markets to “spur innovation, and create and preserve quality jobs in a growing low-carbon economy.”
  4. Create policies that are durable and responsive over time and across political cycles.
  5.  Ensure that policies “support the competitiveness of the U.S. economy”.
  6. Policies must promote equality, and invest in American workers and disadvantaged communities.

Is Dominion reading Bacons Rebellion? The CEO Climate Change Dialog launched yesterday, May 15.  On May 14 I posted an article on this blog titled, “Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real.  Now What?” That article defined four principles and a call to action for Trump supporters. For the sake of brevity and to emphasize that the ideas posted in my blog entry are mine and not necessarily those of Bacons Rebellion I will use the term “Rippert Framework” when referring to those ideas. At the high level of “principles” the CEO Climate Dialog and “Rippert Framework” have much in common. Speaking with moral authority = demonstrating global leadership. Focus on outcomes. Establishing an economy-wide price on carbon = externality charges. Crossing political cycles = appealing to Trump supporters. However, there are important differences. To wit:

  1. The “externality charges” under the Rippert Framework would be rebated to the people rather than kept (and almost certainly wasted) by the government. The principles of the CEO Dialog on Climate are silent on the use of the money raised through the proposed “economy-wide price on carbon”.
  2. There is no reference to “disadvantaged communities” in the Rippert Framework. The method of rebate in the Rippert Framework would benefit lower income people more than higher income people but I saw no need for politically correct virtue signaling. Commingling multiple agendas under the banner of “climate change” is one big reason that conservatives and libertarians question the real motivations of climate change believers.

Commentary – Can Dominion be believed? In a word, no. Dominion has had ample opportunity to catalyze and accelerate clean energy in Virginia. They have been dragged kicking and screaming into the minimal clean energy efforts they have taken to date. The US Department of Energy ranks Virginia as #37 of the fifty U.S. States in percentage of renewable energy production by state. North Carolina is #23, Maryland is #26 and Tennessee is #20. All three of these states border Virginia and are in our “geographic neighborhood.” Given the extent to which Dominion has bought and paid for our state government there is no reason our state wouldn’t rank considerably higher as a renewable energy producer if Dominion were serious about clean energy. In fairness, the other members of the CEO Climate Dialog may be quite sincere in their goal of combating anthropogenic climate change.

— Don Rippert