An article in the Virginia Gazette says that Dominion is now offering $85M in "mitigation" to groups opposing its project. The $85M includes:
The mitigation proposal includes more than $52 million in funding for Jamestown Island, Hog Island and the Captain John Smith Historic Trail District. The money would fund projects such as seawall rehabilitation and replacement at Historic Jamestowne to help combat the impacts of sea-level rise and erosion, according to the draft mitigation plan obtained by the Virginia Gazette.
The mitigation plan proposal includes $15.5 million in funding for water quality improvement including erosion and sediment control in the James River. Battlefield and landscape conservation projects would get $12 million, including government and private lands associated with the Battle of Yorktown, according to the proposal. More than $4 million would go to protecting emergent marsh at the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area.
What Dominion is offering is that YOU will pay to "mitigate" the destruction of YOUR historic resource. And Dominion will make a profit on the deal.
And, really, would $85M of unrelated improvements to the Jamestown historic area make the new transmission towers in the James River disappear? No. No matter how much of your money Dominion throws at it, the transmission line will still forever spoil historic Jamestown. At the end of the day there will still be a transmission line in the river. The $85M isn't "free" money coming out of Dominion's coffers, it's money that will be added to your electric bill for the next 40 years. Aren't there better ways to pay for improvements to Jamestown than through a backdoor fee on your electric bill that also includes a hefty profit for Dominion?
Dominion's price for the transmission line is $155M, before "mitigation." With mitigation of $85M, the new total for the project's capital costs is $240M, a substantial cost increase. Don't you think Dominion could put that $85M to work finding a better solution to its plan, such as undergrounding the transmission line?
And here's the best part... if Dominion is denied a permit to build its current project, then PJM must go back to the drawing board to find another solution to the supposed reliability issue. Any new solution must now be competitively bid, not just handed to Dominion to build, as the original project was many years ago. Competition is always a good thing, and will most likely result in a better, cheaper, "constructable" solution.
Just say no to Dominion's ratepayer-funded blood money and send this project back to PJM's drawing board.