Executive director says: “Dominion knows Amazon seeks a subsidized extension cord – and so does the SCC.”
Haymarket, Virginia (June 6, 2016) – Amazon knew the Haymarket data center site was unsuitable and lacked sufficient infrastructure, new Dominion Virginia Power testimony reveals. And the State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff report released last Thursday shows they are onto the Dominion-Amazon dance.
Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg stated, “Our questioning led to a startling admission by Dominion. Their customer, Amazon, knew from the beginning that the Haymarket site – in Dominion’s words – ‘did not qualify because it did not meet the criteria’ for Dominion’s own pre-certification process.”
“Dominion is even distancing itself from Amazon, stating, on the record, [Amazon] ‘chose the location without seeking input from Dominion Virginia Power’,” Schlossberg added. “And the SCC staff report shows that, like the Coalition, they are fully aware of Amazon’s intentions.”
These developments are the latest in a string of victories the Coalition and allies have achieved in the legal and regulatory process. For over a year, Dominion has conceded that the Haymarket transmission line is for a single customer – and that without this customer, the project would not be pursued.
“Let me make three key points,” Schlossberg said. “First, Dominion admits their customer knew the site was unsuitable. Amazon can’t say they didn’t know. Second, Dominion and the State Corporation Commission (SCC) agree that without Amazon, ‘there would be no need for the Project.’ Amazon can’t say they’re not responsible. Third, the SCC is suggesting Amazon should pay a significant portion of what amounts to a private extension cord. Amazon, you won’t be subsidized by rate-payer dollars and residents’ property values.”
“The Coalition’s argument has always been that Amazon should be treated like any other private customer. Just like a homeowner who builds far away from suitable infrastructure, Amazon should pay for what everyone admits is a private benefit,” Schlossberg continued. “And like a homeowner, what they build should not hurt other people’s property. It appears the SCC staff understands – and embraces – this argument.”
Schlossberg concluded, “Since the beginning, the Coalition and our allies have called out Amazon for laying low, secretly seeking to play by different rules, and receive special treatment. These latest revelations show that from the start, Amazon has sought a rate-payer subsidy and a free pass to punish property values with its overhead extension cord. I can understand why Dominion does not want to shield them – and why the SCC staff is echoing our concerns, asking blunt questions, and taking a hard, objective stance.”
“This is a smoking gun – and the smoke goes all the way from Richmond to Seattle,” Schlossberg added.
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