Dominion Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
54%
Organisation Score
48%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Richmond, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Dominion Generation, Dominion Energy, Dominion Exploration and Production
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Dominion Energy appears to be engaging with mixed positions on U.S. climate policy on the federal and state level. Although the company states support for decarbonization targets, it continues to be critical of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) emissions trading scheme. Dominion’s opposition to fossil gas bans is reflective of its membership to the American Gas Association (AGA), which has led a campaign since 2019 to preempt electrification mandates, as well as the Edison Electric Institute, which continues to lobby for the long-term role of fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Dominion appears to demonstrate limited and mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. During infrastructure bill negotiations in July 2021, Dominion signed a joint letter with C2ES to Congress advocating for “ambitious, durable climate policy.” In a March 2021 letter with the CEO Climate Dialogue, Dominion advocated to President Biden to set ambitious NDC emissions targets for 2030 and 2050. Dominion has also stated support for the Paris Agreement, most recently in its 2021 Climate Report.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: Dominion demonstrates mixed positions on federal and state renewable energy policies. The company supported the renewable energy tax credits in the federal reconciliation bills: during an August 2022 earnings call, the company appeared to support the clean energy tax credits and decarbonization provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act; previously, in January 2022, Dominion signed a joint letter organized by the American Clean Power Association that advocated to Congressional leadership to pass the Build Back Better Act’s clean energy tax credits. The company also supported the reinstatement of the California waiver for vehicle emissions standards in joint comments to the EPA in July 2021, emphasizing that a failure to do this could risk more stringent standards for other parts of the economy, specifically electric generating units. In April 2021, Dominion advocated to FERC to revise the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) to incentivize the uptake of renewable resources. The company also appears to support methane emissions standards: in a February 2022 earnings call, CEO Robert Blue stated support for federal methane regulations and in November 2019, Dominion submitted joint comments to the EPA advocating for federal methane emissions standards. Although Dominion advocated in May 2019 for a price on carbon with the CEO Climate Dialogue, the company disclosed in its CDP 2021 Climate Change report that it remains undecided on carbon tax policy.

After Virginia governor-elect Youngkin pledged in December 2021 to withdraw the state from RGGI, Dominion reiterated its opposition to the emissions scheme. During a May 2022 earnings call, CEO Blue emphasized the company’s position on Virginia’s role in the program, stating that “we’re concerned that Virginia’s linkage to the RGGI program through the Virginia carbon proposal would result in a financial burden on customers with no real mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions regionally.”

Positioning on Energy Transition: Dominion appears to be supporting a long-term role for fossil gas in the energy mix, with a focus on introducing gas ban preemption bills in Ohio and Utah. On the federal level, the company signed a May 2022 AGA joint letter to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development which advocated for increased research and development funding toward fossil gas. In its July 2021 Climate Report, Dominion describes its state-level efforts to promote fossil gas, stating that the company is engaging with policymakers to “preserve customers’ ability to use natural gas.” According to February 2020 email communications records obtained by the Energy News Network, Dominion corresponded with representatives from other companies and trade associations, including the AGA, American Petroleum Institute, and several other utilities, to build support for fossil gas ban preemption legislation in Ohio.

Dominion has also participated in other coalitions, according to the Guardian in August 2020, to block electrification in Ohio and possibly other jurisdictions. Dominion’s 2021 Ohio lobbying reports shows that the utility has engaged, albeit with an unstated position, on the state gas ban preemption bills, including House Bill 201 which became effective in September 2021. The company also appears to have engaged on the Utah gas ban preemption bill, as reported by Pew Charitable Trusts in January 2022. Dominion appears to be supporting fossil fuel infrastructure in other states: in November 2020, the LA Times reported that Dominion Energy was a funder of the Western States and Tribal Nations, an advocacy group promoting fossil fuel projects in Mexico and the western United States.

Dominion engages with more positive positions on federal and state decarbonization targets. For example, in February 2022 the company testified in support of Connecticut Senate Bill 10, which aims to decarbonize the state electricity supply by 2040. Previously, in a May 2021 earnings call, CEO Robert Blue suggested that the company was engaging directly with federal policymakers on shaping the administration’s decarbonization policies. Dominion states support for the transportation of electrification in its 2020 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report, although the company’s 2021 federal lobbying reports reveal engagement on “natural gas vehicles” and “electric vehicles” without disclosing a clear position.

Industry Association Governance: Dominion has disclosed a list of trade associations on its corporate website to which it pays membership dues, but has not disclosed details on each association’s climate change policy positions. The company notes on its “Political Contributions” webpage that it will release a trade association review sometime in 2022. Dominion is a member of several U.S. associations that have a history of strategic opposition to climate policy, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce. The company is also a member of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the American Gas Association (AGA), which hold generally mixed and negative positions on climate policy, respectively. Regarding engagement on the Biden administration reconciliation bills, EEI supported the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits while previously engaging to amend the Build Back Better Act’s proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program, and AGA has opposed Build Back Better’s proposed methane fee.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
29%
 
29%
 
57%
 
57%
 
91%
 
91%
 
28%
 
28%
 
41%
 
41%
 
29%
 
29%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.