While Ken Cuccinelli II’s Nov. 4 Local Opinions essay, “Virginia’s pipeline problem,” evoked laudable sympathy for the Lyndhurst woman’s battle with Dominion Energy to retain her 125 acres of land, it is disingenuous not to acknowledge that she is to receive fair compensation under the law of eminent domain. Therein, of course, his real concern is with the “pro-Dominion cronyist legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.”
He gave little nod to how public utility law protects public access to essential goods or services such as natural gas energy and from price-gouging by those who invest in these government-authorized quasi-monopolies. Virginia’s nearly 8.5 million people need Dominion’s future ability to meet their heating, lighting and power needs.
Mr. Cuccinelli alleged that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is needless and that it will cost Dominion’s customers a “shocking” $2.5 billion over the next 20 years without assessing the increased revenue from exports of liquefied natural gas. Many West Virginia coal companies undoubtedly will support his view in their attempts to thwart the ongoing shift from the high-carbon-emissions coal to cleaner gas-powered energy production plants. And will the cost to Dominion customers be so shocking? The cost — $2.5 billion, or $125 million a year, or $15 a year for each of the nearly 8.5 million Virginians — amounts to a cup of coffee a month at McDonald’s. I’ll drink to that!
J. David Morrissy, Alexandria