3/18/2022 -- A long-embattled plan to build a natural gas-fueled generating plant not owned by Dominion Energy has become the latest victim of Virginia’s patent hostility toward fossil fuels. Environmental opponents and the incumbent utility will probably join in popping the corks.
Chickahominy Power in Charles City County has posted a notice on its website that the project, once scheduled to start construction in 2019 and begin operation in 2022, is terminated. Investors are seeking a location in Ohio or West Virginia, and the scope of the project has grown.
Irfan Ali, who uses the title managing member and who is the principal investor, now plans to develop data centers to use power from the plant, which is also designed to use hydrogen for fuel if that becomes available and economical. He also plans to couple it with a carbon capture and storage system.
“And I would have done that in Virginia, so Virginia is losing out in a big way,” Ali said.
Neither Ohio nor West Virginia impose a carbon tax comparable to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative extracted from Virginians. Dominion won’t mind having one less competitor bidding against it for those RGGI allowances. Another auction last week set a new record, adding $74 million more in costs mostly passed on to consumers.
But Dominion may also be breathing a sigh of relief because the merchant plant would have used the latest turbine technology to produce 1,650 megawatts of power at 65% efficiency and thus a very low cost, about 2.8 cents per Kilowatt hour, with a healthy profit. Had Chickahominy become a supplier to the regional electricity marketplace PJM, “we would have forced Dominion’s coal plants offline sooner.”
The death of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Virginia Natural Gas Header Project and the continued struggles of the Mountain Valley Pipeline to finish construction have given Virginia quite a reputation. Ali said his decision, reached just last week, will be noticed and further damage that reputation around the world.
Environmental opposition was relentless from the start, as was hostility from Governor Ralph Northam (D), who pushed through several bills to eventually end fossil fuel use in Virginia. The 2021 election changed nothing. “I am deeply disappointed in Glenn Youngkin,” Ali said. There had been discussions during the election, but “since he got elected I did not hear from one person on the Youngkin team.” Perhaps they couldn’t have helped but he didn’t even get a sympathetic ear for his $2 billion investment.
Chickahominy Power was one of two merchant power plants proposed for Charles City County expected to take advantage of a proposed upgrade in Virginia Natural Gas’s existing pipeline connection between the Transco main trunk in Prince William County and its main service area in Hampton Roads. The State Corporation Commission imposed financial conditions application which VNG later claimed led it to scrap that expansion in 2020.
The other gas generation project, C4GT, terminated right away. It couldn’t secure financing without guaranteed supply, and the SCC wouldn’t allow the expanded supply without secure financing. Ali, who has financing, called it a classic chicken and egg problem for that other company.
Chickahominy Power then tried another route to secure gas. It sought to build its own 83-mile long pipeline to connect to Transco near Charlottesville, buying rather than condemning the needed easements and rights of way. The SCC denied his request to waive regulating it as a public utility, despite having only one customer. The final straw came when PJM kicked the project out of its supplier application queue for lack of progress, pushing it back to square one.
West Virginia and Ohio are also in PJM territory, but Ali no longer plans to work through that market. Its hostility to fossil fuel and favoritism toward wind and solar is growing. It dreams of “LaLa Land where wind and solar meet all the needs,” he said. His new plan also needs no approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which took a strong anti-gas turn recently under a new Biden Administration regime.
The Virginia proposal enjoyed quite a bit of local support in a rural county in need of tax-paying development, which helped in securing its early state permits. Local native tribal leaders and the local government spoke up in favor. But the very poverty of the area was used as a weapon by environmentalists, who claimed building the plant violated economic justice.
Ali chose the location because it is adjacent to a Dominion Power Virginia substation and an existing VNG pipeline compressor station. Just what deleterious effects would be created by adding his facility with its tight air permit to the neighborhood were never detailed, as Bacon’s Rebellionreported. Despite many battles, his state permits held up. He just couldn’t get gas.
Ali is finding a much more welcoming climate in the other states, which are home to the gas from shale operations that the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines were designed to bring to Virginia.
Opponents claim the pipelines were mainly about bringing the gas to export, but this project and C4GT proved otherwise. The death of VNG’s project and the Atlantic Coast project have left Hampton Roads short of gas supply. It will hinder future economic development in that region. Ironically, it will interfere with plans to make the region a hub for wind turbine manufacturing, which uses gas in their processes.
A Virginian since 1980, Ali moved to the U.S. from Pakistan when his father was appointed its United Nations ambassador in 1971. His father’s family was prominent in Pakistani politics, having had leadership roles during the separation from Great Britain and then the partition into India and Pakistan.
He is the kind of energetic entrepreneur Virginia should be welcoming and listening to. He is instead going away mad, kicking our dust from his shoes. Whether this loss spurs a change of direction in Richmond only time will tell.
As Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights, explains in the email below, it's absolutely critical we act now!
The Hon. Rand Paul U.S. Senator (R-KY) Dear Robert B,
"BIDEN AIMS TO SIGN ON TO UN'S GLOBAL GUN REGISTRATION TREATY."
That was the headline in the Washington Examiner shortly after President Biden's State Department spokesman Bill Malzahn told international bureaucrats of "the continuing commitment of the United States" to the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" during the gun control Conference of State Parties in Geneva, Switzerland.
Just a few weeks later, President Biden himself spoke before the United Nations in New York City, stating:
"We'll continue to uphold the long-standing rules and norms... Bedrock commitments, like support for arms control measures to reduce the risk and enhance transparency."
Robert B, anyone hoping that President Biden wouldn't use his bully pulpit to RAM the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" down the throats of Americans just got those hopes CRUSHED.
The battle over implementation of the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" -- the crown jewel in the gun grabbers' designs for the globe -- is about to reach a fever pitch.
As you'll see, this survey insists that your U.S. Senators do everything in their power to oppose the UN "Small Arms Treaty" in the U.S. Senate.
If there's anything we've learned, it's that globalists have been telling LIES about the supposed "need" for the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" for years.
From the beginning, gun grabbers have claimed the purpose of the Treaty is keeping arms out of the hands of terrorists, insurgents, rogue states, and gang members.
But at the very same time the Biden Administration was pledging their support for the UN's "Small Arms Treaty," they were leaving $83 BILLION in U.S. military weaponry to the Taliban!
They don't care about keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists.
They care about keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding Americans!
Reading through the details of the UN "Small Arms Treaty," it's hard to see how our Second Amendment could survive, if ratified.
For starters, the Treaty text demands the U.S. identity "end users" (gun buyers), document "the quantity, value, and model/type" of firearms and ammunition, and develop "national control standards" to regulate transfers.
In other words, by design it's an International Gun Registry that'll include detailed information on American gun owners just like you -- the first step toward outright CONFISCATION.
Worse, all that information would be made accessible by despots and foreign governments including the Treaty's largest signer -- Communist China.
Once a nation signs on, the UN's goal is to quickly impose "International Small Arms Control Standards" (ISACS) on them. Introductory language already includes:
*** Mandated national "screening" for those seeking to own guns, giving bureaucrats the final say on whether or not you're "competent" enough to own a firearm;
*** Restrictive licensing for gun and ammo sales, and perhaps even bans on anything from semi-auto rifles to shotguns and handguns;
*** Restrictions on the number of guns and amount of ammo any "properly-licensed" individual may legally own;
*** Bans on magazines holding more than ten rounds; and
*** Bans on owning a firearm for self-defense -- unless a citizen can somehow get government approval (which will only happen if you're "connected" -- or paid half-a-million dollars for one of Hunter Biden's paintings).
Believe me, the United Nations has no intention of slow walking any of this. To them, your Second Amendment freedoms are a threat to their grand "utopian" designs.
Enemies like Red China are so eager to see every American disarmed they're pouring money into the UN "Small Arms Treaty" hand-over-fist.
So, it's no wonder why they're hell-bent on forcing the U.S. to submit to this globalist gun control scam -- and why we must defeat it!
As soon the gun grabbers have 67 votes to ratify the Treaty in the U.S. Senate, you can bet Biden's pal, Sen. Chuck Schumer, will call for the vote.
But we can't wait until then to fight back because even now, one-world bureaucrats are these gun controls deep into every part of government.
On top of Biden's ATF anti-gun executive actions, a headline from The Hill shows how "Democrats' latest backdoor plan to limit gun ownership" involves new State Department "sanctions" designed to drive the price of ammo by BANNING imports.
That's the same State Department which NAGR caught red-handed trying to siphon your tax dollars into funding the UN "Small Arms Treaty."
Worse, since day one of the COVID-19 outbreak, our court system has said yes to almost any politician cooking up any unconstitutional idea so long as it's under the guise of "public health."
So now Biden's Center for Disease Control (CDC) is pushing a new Euro-centric gun control framework that says "Using a public health approach is essential to addressing firearm violence and keeping people safe and healthy."
That's why insisting that your U.S. Senators OPPOSE the ratification of the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" is not enough.
We must insist that the U.S. Senate ensures that NOT ONE TAXPAYER CENT is spent by Biden on implementing any part of this Treaty or what it stands for.
But I'm counting on your help to send that message -- before it's too late.
Second, please agree to your most generous contribution to help the National Association for Gun Rights mobilize a grassroots firestorm against the UN's "Small Arms Treaty" -- using everything from U.S. Mail, to phones, to email, blogs, and guest editorials, hard-hitting video and even paid media if we can raise resources.
If at all possible, I'm hoping you'll agree to $100.
I know that's a lot to ask for, believe me. But the fight is here, Robert B. It's on. There's no time to wait.
The National Association for Gun Rights, Inc. is a non-profit tax exempt advocacy organization under Section 501(c)4 of the IRC. Contributions or gifts to NAGR are not tax-deductible for IRS purposes. Not paid for or mailed at taxpayer expense. The National Association for Gun Rights' mailing address is P.O. Box 1776, Loveland, Colorado 80539. They can be contacted toll-free at 1-877-405-4570. Its web address is www.NationalGunRights.org