The one thing about utilities is that they are always running.
So long as there is an economy and so long as there are basic needs to run that economy — water, electricity, and so forth — the backbone of any sort of economic activity functions on the premise that these activities can be provided cheaply and efficiently.
Dominion Energy — once considered to be the best corporate citizen in Virginia — has been the whipping boy of the anti-energy and environmentalist left, with a coterie of media outlets and pressure organizations (including Antifa) weaponizing the energy firm as a social justice pariah. Opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which would have provided clean and cheap energy to Virginia was stymied in favor of more expensive foreign providers such as the Russian Federation.
While windmills and solar farms have been built, the cost of these expensive and unreliable energy sources was a luxury in good times. During unsettled times such as a global energy crisis, war in the Ukraine, and a spiraling economy? Such unreliable energy sources have a cost.
Of course, actions have consequences.
Dominion Energy requesting a $9 across the board increase from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to provide this “green energy” to customers — an average 7% increase per month in order to stave off the possibility of a much more expensive 20% increase per SCC guidelines. From Patrick Wilson at the Richmond-Times Dispatch:
The company estimated that without its proposal to mitigate rising fuel prices, the bill increase could be as much as 20%, Baine wrote.
“The Company is taking significant action to reduce customers’ exposure to future fuel cost fluctuations,” he wrote. The addition of solar and offshore wind to the company’s fleet of power plants, which have no fuel costs, “will mitigate the risk of commodity price upheavals.”
Dominion is planning the largest offshore wind farm in the country off the coast of Virginia Beach but that, too, will increase customer bills.
So rather than relying upon cheap natural gas, pressure organizations such as Clean Virginia have orchestrated a plan that forces Virginians to rely on expensive and unreliable “green” energy — the cost of which is being passed on directly to working class Virginians.
Notable for the rest of us, Dominion — which unlike every other business in America is capped by the SCC on how much profit it can generate — saw a dip in its quarterly earnings, though still generated $1.17/share in Q1. Which means that even with the proposed rate increases, the earnings are not being translated into either profits for shareholders or lower energy rates for customers.
Yet all this does raise the fair question as to how much lower would energy rates be if Virginians were relying on clean natural gas rather than unreliable windmills off the Virginia coast? How does this shift towards “green” energy force American markets to rely on foreign energy resources from places such as Russia?
Moreover, despite all the whining from environmentalists about American shareholders and customers, who profits by pushing Americans to rely on foreign oil? Certainly not Virginians. Certainly not domestic energy or national security. Certainly not the birds who will be mangled and killed by windmills every year.
If the question is who benefits? Certainly not Dominion. The answer, I’m afraid, is in Russian — and we all know it.