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Dominion shareholders demand a different response to climate change

Freeda Cathcart has stock in Dominion Energy, and she worries about what economists call stranded assets.

“A stranded asset is when a company spends multi-billion dollars on like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and then it’s not needed for anything," she explains. "They just wasted a bunch of money."

Freeda Cathcart
Freeda Cathcart
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Dominion shareholder Freeda Cathcart wants to know what Dominion will do with stranded assets.

Cathcart adds that stranded assets can mean big losses for investors and wants to know what Dominion will do with more than a dozen plants fueled by the heat trapping methane if climate change forces them to close?

“There are some misconceptions that greedy shareholders want these fossil fuel projects," she says. "We don’t, and they are dangerous to our investment, because when they go down it’s our shareholder value, our dividend checks that go down.”

Another shareholder, David Backer, wants the utility to set medium-term goals for reducing the amount of methane that leaks into the atmosphere because of its operations. The company says it already does that every 18-24 months, but Backer wants a more comprehensive report every year.

“If you’ve read the news from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it’s clear that there is an urgent need for us to take action immediately. We need to have at least annual reports on all of this."

Dominion makes no recommendation on Cathcart’s resolution but opposes Backer’s idea. Shareholders will vote on these proposals May 11th when they meet at Norfolk State University.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief