I was completely floored to hear how rude, insulting and arrogant Mr. Chuck Penn of Dominion was on the Kojo Nnamdi radio show yesterday. Shame on you, Chuck! You sure didn’t paint your company in a good light. In fact, you only served to create new enemies. I’m one.
Now, I met Mr. Penn several years ago and he was quite the friendly personality. But, then again, he was getting what he wanted at the time (and so was I). Either he’s been drinking too much Arrogant Bastard ale of late, or he’s really been a nasty person all along.
The story presented on the show concerns a transmission project Dominion wants to build in Prince William County, Va. The transmission line is “necessary” to serve a proposed new data center owned by an Amazon subsidiary. And Dominion wants to run it through private property. Of course, the affected landowners objected. Their local elected county officials responded by backing the landowners. Dominion’s “preferred route” was blocked by the creation of a conservation easement along the route. The Virginia State Corporation Commission then selected the next route option that plows through the nearby Carver Road community. Carver Road is an historic African-American community. Dominion (and Mr. Penn on the radio) played this up as a rich, white community dumping unwanted infrastructure on a less affluent African-American community. This is the stuff movies are made of, right? Except the Carver Road community has joined forces with the community on the original route to oppose the transmission line on any route. The original group is fighting just as hard to have the route moved out of Carver Road as they did to have it moved out of their own neighborhood. This is the epitome of a community working together to benefit everyone, despite Mr. Penn’s best efforts to portray it as racial. I’m guessing that Mr. Penn doesn’t speak for Carver Road… after all, he works for Dominion. Mr. Penn thinks the county should release the easement so Dominion can build its project along the original route.
How about this? How about Dominion doesn’t build its project at all?
Opponents said that the data center isn’t even a sure thing, and even if it was, this project is nothing more than a gigantic service line, necessary only to serve the data center.
There is a route that goes along the highway and comprises some buried sections of line. The Virginia SCC says they did not select that route because it was “too expensive.” Penn said that route would cost $100M more than tearing up one of the affected neighborhoods with an overhead line. And then Dominion and the SCC sit around and talk about how all ratepayers in the region will pay for the transmission line so they need to build it as cheaply as possible.
The opposition pointed out that 97% of the transmission line benefit will be for Amazon and asked why Amazon isn’t paying 97% of the cost? If you or I built a house up on a remote mountain and then wanted electric service, we’d have to pay to run our service line from the nearest distribution line. This project is nothing more than that on a grand scale. Why should Amazon have no cost responsibility for its own service line? Because of economic development, jobs, taxes, and all the wonderful things it could possibly bring to Prince William County? Who did the cost benefit analysis on that to prove that the benefits of the data center are greater than the cost to the ratepayers?
And then we get down to the fundamental question… why must a handful of landowners sacrifice their economic and environmental well-being to host a transmission line for a data center that economically benefits the entire region? If the project can be built on a more expensive route that nobody objects to, and Amazon covers the cost of its service line, where’s the harm to the ratepayers of using the more expensive route? The true cost of a transmission project is one that finds a route that doesn’t harm anyone. If that includes burial, so be it.
The idea that certain segments of society (either black or white) must sacrifice for the whole is outdated and unacceptable any longer. This isn’t the 1930’s when that was necessary to electrify the country. “But for” the data center, this project isn’t necessary.
I find Dominion’s attempt to play communities against each other completely disgusting. Instead, the communities should be fighting their common enemy, Dominion. The communities are to be commended for refusing to fall for Chuck’s ruse. United they stand, divided they fall.
And Chuck should quit being so ugly to people. I’m sure his momma taught him better than that.
Verbal Abuse: http://bit.ly/2uJEpPE
On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog, but anyone can tell when you’re lying. Dominion is in full-on forked-tongue mode