Friends, it’s game on.  Time for another click-to-send email, this time to the General Assembly.

Some Coalition members predicted Dominion Power would exploit the current General Assembly session to avoid public feedback on projects that nearly always involve seizure and impairment of privately-owned land.  And they have!

In typical fashion, Dominion found a pair of willing political lackeys.  Proposed measures from Delegate Greg Habeeb (HB 1766) and Senator Bill Stanley (SB 1110) will quietly strip authority from local Boards of Supervisors to execute their own land-use policies. For citizens, local bodies are often the only venue for defending their property. And these bills are not just aimed at Prince William County, but at every local board statewide. Dominion is again looking to skirt regulation through legislation.

The audacity is almost unbelievable – except that it’s exactly what we expect from Dominion. Luckily, their constant underhanded behavior comes with a strong tendency to forget that groups like the Coalition are always watching.

You may ask, “What’s the issue?” The Habeeb-Stanley bills would make SCC approval of a transmission line automatically include approval of related infrastructure, including substations that typically require separate local approval. The current bill applies only to 138kV lines – the smallest kind the SCC cares about – but we expect it will be amended to apply to all lines 138kV and up.

Substations are critical, as the local Amazon.com data center shows. Amazon needs so much power, its project requires a transmission line and a substation that then feeds into distribution lines for three planned data centers. Our Board of Supervisors – like any other – deserve the right to approve or not approve the substation, as current law requires. These measures will prevent a hearing and vote before our county Board of Supervisors, and stop our ability to have an impact on Dominion’s proposed Haymarket substation for Amazon.

Like any other entity, Dominion must participate in a process that also involves the public.  But they don’t want to. For obvious reasons. Delegate Habeeb and Senator Stanley have been persuaded to give Dominion a “get out of regulation free” card. And frankly, it’s odd coming from two attorneys who understand the importance of constitutional protections of private property and local decision making. It’s also downright hypocritical of Senator Stanley, who has publicly battled a utility threatening the property rights of his own constituents.  He must feel not all Virginians deserve the same protection.

Delegate Habeeb’s HB 1766 goes before the House Committee for vote this coming Tuesday, January 17.  Click here to personalize your own email to the House Commerce and Labor Committee members.  Tell them you see Dominion’s ploy in this legislation and you simply won’t stand for it. We cannot allow Dominion to take away our Supervisors’ authority, because our county, for better or worse, is often our last line of defense as citizens.  State delegates and senators are there to represent citizens, NOT to give big corporate entities – particularly those who can seize and impair property – yet another way to avoid being held to account for their action.  They all need to receive your email by this Tuesday, January 17, NOON!  (We will send another separate notice and provide a new click-to-send email in advance of Senator Stanley’s SB 1110 vote before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.)

Our goal in this outreach is to have 1,000 emails sent and we can do it!!!! Overwhelm their inboxes.  The committee members need to hear from us that these bills must die there.  If not us, who will protect our community?

NOTE:  If the server doesn’t respond when sending your click-to-send email, try again later.  In the meantime, you can also make their phones ring off the hook:

 

House Commerce & Labor Committee: 

First Name Last Name Capitol Phone
Terry G. Kilgore (Chair) (804) 698-1001
Kathy J. Byron (Vice Chair) (804) 698-1022
R. Lee Ware (804) 698-1065
Timothy D. Hugo (804) 698-1040
Daniel W. Marshall III (804) 698-1014
Benjamin L. Cline (804) 698-1024
Jackson H. Miller (804) 698-1050
G. M. (Manoli) Loupassi (804) 698-1068
Robert B. Bell (804) 698-1058
Gregory D. Habeeb (804) 698-1008
Ronald A. Villanueva (804) 698-1021
Peter F. Farrell (804) 698-1056
Israel D. O’Quinn (804) 698-1005
David E. Yancey (804) 698-1094
Margaret B. Ransone (804) 698-1099
Jeion A. Ward (804) 698-1092
Roslyn C. Tyler (804) 698-1075
Mark L. Keam (804) 698-1035
Eileen Filler-Corn (804) 698-1041
Kaye Kory (804) 698-1038
Joseph C. Lindsey (804) 698-1090

 

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee:

First Name Last Name Capitol Phone
Frank W. Wagner (Chair) (804) 698-7507
Richard L. Saslaw (804) 698-7535
Stephen D. Newman (804) 698-7523
Mark D. Obenshain (804) 698-7526
Richard H. Stuart (804) 698-7528
Thomas K. Norment (804) 698-7503
John A. Cosgrove, Jr. (804) 698-7514
William M. Stanley, Jr. (804) 698-7520
A. Benton “Ben” Chafin (804) 698-7538
Rosalyn R. Dance (804) 698-7516
L. Louise Lucas (804) 698-7518
Ryan T. McDougle (804) 698-7504
Richard H. Black (804) 698-7513
Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr. (804) 698-7510