RICHMOND — Dominion Energy was taking no chances with the fate of its proposed natural gas pipeline during this year’s election season, even though both major candidates for governor supported the $5 billion project.

The state’s most powerful corporation, along with partner companies and the American Gas Association, poured resources into online groups called EnergySure and Your Energy Virginia to whip up what it called a grassroots “campaign to elect a pipeline.”

Numbers from an industry presentation suggest the scope of the effort: As of early October, Dominion had compiled a “supporter database” of more than 23,000 names, generated 150 letters to the editor, sent more than 9,000 cards and letters to federal regulators and local elected officials, and directed more than 11,000 calls to outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia’s U.S. senators.

Critics say those efforts – outlined in a presentation that was not intended for the public but was briefly visible on the gas association’s web site – amounted to overkill. But the company says the onslaught is the only way to do business at a time when everything is politicized and opponents can use social media to magnify their influence.

Read more:

Washington Post -Gregory Schneider – 11.29.17

Posted by: Nelson Bailey

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