by shay bell
It’s been a minute since our last set of blogs, but I’m back this month with a bit of an attitude because I’m over white male greed.
As I’m sure we’re all aware, Virginia is one of many states aiming to lower their carbon emissions this year in an attempt to combat the global climate crisis that we are facing. Corporations have not heeded the warning of experts in this matter, which has led scientists to act out in extreme ways in an effort to get the world to pay attention. You may have heard of some of these efforts, such as scientists gluing themselves to museum walls, scientists being carried away by the police while speaking into a camera about the danger that we’re in, and many climate protests. Still, despite what we see in the media about the dire need to reach net zero carbon emissions before 2050, some people are acting unbothered and unmoved. John Lee, CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and board chair of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is one of those people.
Despite Dominion’s intent to close their power plant by 2025, Lee, who co-shares the Clover plant with Dominion, claims that Clover provides “available capacity to the grid even when it is not generating energy, and since it generates less energy today it also generates less carbon dioxide, there is and will continue to be great value in resources that are dispatchable and have on-site fuel during peak periods, and ODEC currently intends to keep Clover viable.” ODEC only utilized four percent use of the plant’s total electrical output in 2021. As if he couldn’t say anything else more infuriating, Lee continues to say that Clover is, “contracted for approximately 300 megawatts of wind, solar, and landfill gas capacity and is working to transition toward a lower carbon future over the next several decades by taking reasonable, incremental steps.” Nothing about keeping a power plant open only to utilize it 4% of the time is reasonable.
John Lee doesn’t care about the harmful effects of carbon emissions in the state of Virginia. He does not bat an eye at the fact that his production of energy has contributed to the cities Charlotte and Norfolk having suffered to be the two most polluted cities in Virginia. John Lee only cares about profit. Intending to keep the Clover plant open despite the climate crisis is cruel and stands in the way of progress. It infuriates me that people like this, corporations like these have the power to effect change and yet choose individualism and wealth instead. And it’s almost laughable that this is what happens, considering the fact that none of your hoarded wealth will matter when the world is up in flames.