In a recent post, Bacon’s Rebellion extolled the findings of Hickman Analytics Inc., a suburban Washington consulting firm hired by the Consumer Energy Alliance, which found, according to a survey of 500 registered voters, the vast majority of Virginians support Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The $5 billion project would take natural gas released by hydraulic fracturing from West Virginia southeastward through Virginia into North Carolina. Dominion has used some strong-arm tactics to force the project through, such as suing property owners who declined to let surveyors onto their property.
Having reported on the controversy in such places as Nelson County, I was surprised to note the Hickman results showing such a strong support for the pipeline.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Let’s start with the Consumer Energy Alliance. For starters, it is a Texas-based lobbying group funded by such fossil fuel giants as Exxon Mobil and Devon Energy, plus as host of utilities.
It has been traversing the United States drumming up opposition to initiatives to cut back on carbon emissions. It supports the Keystone XL and other petroleum pipelines.
Says SourceWatch, quoting Salon.com: “The CEA is part of a sophisticated public affairs strategy designed to manipulate the U.S. political system by deluging the media with messaging favorable to the tar-sands industry; to persuade key state and federal legislators to act in the extractive industries’ favor; and to defeat any attempt to regulate the carbon emissions emanating from gasoline and diesel used by U.S. vehicles.”
The group was created in the late 2000s by Michael Whatley, a Republican energy lobbyist with links to the Canadian and American oil sectors.
Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon’s Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.