|About 30 Virginia citizens and students gathered outside of the Dominion Power building in Richmond, VA where a mock award ceremony was held to honor Dominion’s CEO, Tom Farrell, as the Virginia Fossil Fool of the year. The award committee decided to honor Tom Farrell because of Dominion’s plans to build a 585 megawatt coal plant in Wise County Virginia despite the fact that it would contribute heavily to global warming and mountaintop removal coal mining.As part of the mockery, characters representing the General Assembly, State Corporation Commission, Department of Environmental Quality, and a “Coal Baron” representing the coal industry, lauded Tom Farrell his achievements so far.
According to the Coal Baron, Mr. Farrell deserves the award, “for backing our calloused vision to look at the oldest mountains in the world with huge dollar signs in our eyes….[and] for his ability to dupe the General Assembly into thinking that if this coal plant isn’t built we will be plagued with rolling blackouts. We in the industry know that Virginia is last in energy efficiency in nearly every way…”
|The character representing the General Assembly congratulated Tom Farrell because; “Dominion has proven their dedication to the democratic process by contributing to nearly 90% of our legislators. And let me just say, it was a happy sale to make, oh yes indeed!”Interspersed between the satirical acclaim for Mr. Farrell, individuals from a crowd that represented the Virginia Public came forth and read facts (listed at the end) about how this coal plant would harm the economy, environment and quality of life for the citizens of Southwest Virginia.
Just as the award was given to the stand in for Tom Farrell, a character representing the public outcry came forth to set things straight. He rallied the public crowd to demand that Dominion invest in efficiency, conservation, and wind and solar power instead of building another polluting coal plant.
Since no one from Dominion was available to recieve the award, Dan Jenkins -Manager of Security for the Dominion building came to take the award as the activists sung “Happy Fossil Fools Day to You”.
Here are the facts form the public:
According to Dominion the plant will emit as much C02 as nearly a million new cars. Dominion tried to pass the plant off as ‘Carbon Capture Compatible’ but the SCC denied them this claim because the technology DOES NOT YET EXIST.
Coal reserves are on the decline. The industry loves to use old and flawed studies from the early seventies to say we have hundreds of years of coal. According to the USGS we have 10 to 20 years of high quality coal in central Appalachia, and the price of coal has doubled in recent months, despite increased production.
Mountaintop Removal in Virginia is HUGE! 29 Virginia Mountains have been leveled and a quarter of Wise County has been strip mined.
Coal is dirty during its extraction, transportation and burning. This plant will emit 49 pounds of the neurotoxin Mercury, which causes birth defects. The SCC stated yesterday that this is NOT a Clean Coal plant but a conventional coal plant.
According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission this plant may very well cause the loss of nearly 1500 jobs due to increased rates.
Virginians Use twice as much electricity as California Per Capita and Virginia Utilities are DEAD LAST on investing in Efficiency ($0). We don’t need new power, we can invest in efficiency instead.
Tom graduated in the spring of 2006 with a degree in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and has experience working on a variety of environmental and health issues while on campus. After vagabonding in South America and wandering around the scenic mountains of Virginia until graduation, he decided to take a stab at the non-profit world and join his generation's fight to stop global warming. Tom has worked with Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Repower America, and Avaaz over the past four years and currently lives in Washington DC.