Connolly joins hundreds in opposing coal plant


The Chairman of the Fairfax County Board Gerry Connolly today joined hundreds in voicing his opposition to a proposed coal-fired power plant in Wise County, Va. Dominion Virginia Power, the largest utility in the commonwealth, is planning to build a new 585 megawatt coal-fired power plant designed primarily to supply the energy demand in Northern Virginia.

Unfortunately, with 5.4 million tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions, this proposed coal power plant would more than negate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Connolly said.  For example, we have replaced 100 of our county vehicles with hybrids, reducing emissions by 185 tons annually, a minute fraction of the emissions that the coal plant would produce, said the Chairman.

The testimony of the Fairfax Chairman joins that of the nearly 200 citizens who are testifying in person at the State Corporation Commission (SCC) hearing today in Richmond and the 815 pieces of written testimony. Additionally, Arlington, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville have passed official Resolutions opposing Dominions Wise County plans.

State and local governments across the country have taken leadership roles in combating global warming said the Chairman in his written testimony. I would like to thank Albermarle, Arlington, James City, and New Kent Counties for adopting the Cool Counties initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There are numerous other cities from Charlottesville to Alexandria to Richmond that have also adopted measures to reduce emissions in an effort to reduce global warming pollution.

But a proposed coal-fired power plant threatens much of the progress that is being made on the municipal level in Virginia.

Everyone knows that new investment in coal technology is a step backwards, said Paul Burman, Northern Virginia Organizer for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. With fossil fuel prices rising to record highs and global warming pushing January temperatures into the 70s, it is clear that Virginia should pursue renewable energy and conservation first.

Dominion power wants to charge the entire $1.6 billion cost of plant construction to Virginia ratepayers.

This plant would harm our air, our water, our mountains, our pocketbooks, and serve as a serious setback in Virginias attempts to become a 21st century energy provider, says Troy Holland, a Warrenton resident who testified at todays hearing. I respectfully request that we examine the alternative actions available to us before approving another highly polluting coal plant.