Dominion MTR 2011
|Company||Dominion Resources, Inc.|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Community Impacts; Mountaintop Removal|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Mountaintop removal risk mitigation|
WHEREAS: Dominion is a vertically integrated energy company providing a full array of energy-related operations and services, such as the generation, transmission, distribution and marketing of electricity.
Dominion Resources has stated that it is "committed to meeting its customers’ energy needs in a manner consistent with a clean environment. We believe it is both good business practice and our duty to protect the natural and cultural resources of the communities we serve. In keeping with this belief, it is our policy to conduct our business in an environmentally responsible manner that protects the public, our employees, and the earth that we all share." (www.dom.com)
Yet Dominion Resources purchases a large fraction of the coal used in its energy-related operations and services from companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining, a highly controversial practice that has adverse impacts on communities, the environment, and public health.
As of 2009, mountaintop removal coal mining has permanently erased more than 470 peaks from the Appalachian skyline, buried or polluted more than 1,200 miles of pristine headwater streams, and swept away more than 800 square miles of one of America's most diverse and valuable ecosystems. (http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm) EPA has placed 79 mountaintop removal coal mining projects on hold to review the permits due to concerns regarding water quality and environmental health.
Old growth forests, like in Appalachia, are important carbon sinks that store atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation is the second leading source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The carbon in forests destroyed by mountaintop removal coal mining each year equals roughly the annual emissions from two 800-megawatt coal-fired power plants.
Mountaintop removal coal mining blights communities. Of the approximately 500,000 acres of
land covered by surface-mining permits in Kentucky over the last decade, less than 14,000 acres are scheduled to be reclaimed for commercial, residential, industrial or recreational development, according to state mining authorities.
Left unchecked, mountaintop removal coal mining will continue to irreversibly destroy the people, communities, cultural heritage, and environment of the Appalachian coalfields. By consuming coal extracted by mountaintop removal coal mining, Dominion is responsible, in part, for the permanent destruction to date of the Appalachian coalfields and the wildlife resources of the Appalachian Mountains.
Dominion management has acknowledged the controversial nature of using coal from mountaintop removal coal mining: at the 2008 annual shareholders’ meeting, CEO Tom Farrell said “I wish I could tell you we will never burn another ton of mountaintop coal.”
At least one of Dominion’s competitors, Duke Energy, requested (on May 26, 2010) that its coal suppliers submit information and price estimates for providing coal that is not obtained through mountaintop removal coal mining.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Dominion's Board of Directors publish a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, by February, 2012 assessing (i) the impact of Dominion’s use of coal obtained through mountaintop removal coal mining, and (ii) the impact and optimum timing of a future policy ending use of coal obtained through mountaintop removal coal mining in Dominion’s energy-related operations and services.