Protesters Expected at Dominion's Annual Meeting

Clash expected over activist shareholder proposals.


Environmental activists are expected to travel from Virginia to Columbia, South Carolina, where Dominion Resources will hold its annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday.

Activist shareholders have filed several proposals asking the utility to prepare reports on practices they believe deserves scrutiny. Dominion recommends denial of all of them.

They include:

1. Requiring Dominion to disclose its lobbying practices and how much it pays for groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, which create model legislation of pro-business bent and grass-roots organizations.

2. Ask Dominion to explain how it would deal with financial issues should plans for a new nuclear reactor at North Anna be denied by the State Corporation Commission. The state attorney general’s office says that the reactor would cost $19.3 billion – the most expensive in the country so far. The proposal asks how the ratepayers might be affected if the SCC denies a permit for the reactor. Consumer activist Irene Leech said in a press release: "The massive $19 billion cost for the North Anna 3 nuclear reactor project makes it the biggest single threat posed today to the pocketbooks of Virginia consumers."

3. Require Dominion to choose for its board of directors one person with expertise in environmental affairs.

4. Report to shareholders the financial risks caused by events related to climate change, such as hurricanes Isabel and Irene and a June 2012 windstorm that affected Dominion’s electricity service area.

5. Report on how rising, renewable technologies such as solar might have a financial affect on Dominion, which relies on fossil fuel and nuclear power for most of its power.

Dominion recommends voting down all of the proposals, saying that it participates in the political process to boost its “business strategies and goals.” It also claims that its current practices are “effective.”

Protesters are expected to picket the Hilton hotel, where the meeting will be held. They include groups concerned about climate change, coal ash ponds and a $5 billion natural gas pipeline in which a Dominion Resources subsidiary is a partner.