I didn’t think Dominion Power could get more desperate – and duplicitous – than their past actions in the Haymarket transmission line case showed them to be.
That was until last week, when Dominion asked the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a “do over” in the current case because (and yes, this is a quote) the SCC Staff “offers new evidence in its post-hearing brief in support of allocating a large portion of the cost of this transmission project to a single retail customer.”
That’s right. SCC staff echoed Dominion’s own statements made by Dominion spokespeople Chuck Penn and Greg Mathe, and Dominion’s own SCC application. It’s not actually new evidence. Staff just applies old evidence in a way that Dominion doesn’t like.
And Dominion says this is inherently unfair and prejudices them.
Friends, we are witnessing a desperate and duplicitous corporation trying to cover its own rear-end and cover-up its own words.
Desperate, because Dominion knows that its usual practice of using rate payer dollars to fund speculative development is now in full view of the public and Dominion’s regulators.
Duplicitous, because Dominion itself has admitted this project is for one customer – we know it is Amazon – and referred to the project as a line extension. Staff echoed Dominion’s words.
If you ever needed evidence that the Coalition’s strategy has worked, here it is. A multi-billion dollar monopoly regulated by our state government is asking for a do-over because they’ve been caught gambling with rate payer dollars – and the SCC staff had the courage to call them on it.
We need your help.
Now is the time to show Dominion our resolve and determination not just to keep them from hurting our community, but from exploiting all Virginians who pay their rates.
Our legal counsel has worked on a shoestring to keep advancing our argument despite being outspent a hundred times over. We cannot waiver now. We need your support as our attorney prepares our response to Dominion’s last-minute antics. His legal acumen and SCC experience are our best weapons right now.
Please, if you value the protection and preservation of our community, give what you can: Donate
And I know you value it. We’ve already seen what a unified, undaunted community can do.
Executive Director, Coalition to Protect Prince William County
Here is another write-up on the current situation:
Arrogance In Action, Dominion Strikes Back
As I have noted previously, Dominion has yet to understand that they may have bitten off a bit more than they could chew when it elected to ramrod the Amazon Extension Cord through western Prince William County. My guess is they didn’t and don’t understand the demographics of the area and still don’t realize you can’t swing a dead cat in the Haymarket area without hitting an attorney, engineer, CEO, CFO, GS15, SES, developer, politician, etc. The area is better educated than almost any other jurisdiction in the country, has deep pockets and most importantly, has fought many a land use, infrastructure and a tax war in the past. The residents are smart, tough and at this point well organized and battle hardened. Dominion could not have chosen a worse place to pick a public fight.
For those familiar with the case, a constant thread by the opposition has been whom should pay the cost for the powerline and more particularly, whom should pay the increased cost for the least impactful powerline option (the hybrid line). I don’t know what evidentiary hearing Dominion and its attorneys attended but based on their actions of the past week, it obviously wasn’t the one regarding the proposed Haymarket powerline. That or in their supreme arrogance they have elected to simply dismiss the proceedings and bulldoze ahead as they normally do.
In the course of the June hearings, considerable time was spent discussing and deliberating the premise that the powerline is simply an “extension cord”, the sole purpose of which is to power Amazon’s proposed data center on Route 55. The discussion and written testimony included multiple references to tariffs and policies regarding allocating the cost of construction of new electric infrastructure. In the three years culminating in the hearing, many have posited variously that the ratepayers, special tax districts, Dominion or Amazon should pay for what is in effect a line extension.
Apparently Dominion and its attorneys weren’t paying attention as last week they filed an objection to the SCC Staff Legal Brief filed on August 5, 2016, alleging that staff had offered “new evidence” in its post hearing brief. They continue by asserting that they are raising the “objection in light of the inherent unfairness of Staffs posthearing submittal and the clear prejudice to the Company”. Well boo freaking hoo. Face it Dominion, in your arrogance you got blindsided by an argument you didn’t see coming and thought you would waltz your way through this proceeding as you have become accustomed to in past hearings.
They then double down by asking the Hearing Examiner to”either strike such evidence, or make clear that such evidence was not considered in the determination of the recommended and final decision in this matter”.
Caught with their pants down, Dominion and its legal team is clearly in a panic and now shooting from the lip as the potential for a precedent setting case looms before them. Karma is a bitch boys and you probably shouldn’t have poked the western Prince William County bear. Arrogance has its price and you may now find out just how high that price might be.
More to come…
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