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Environmental Groups Protest Dominion in Crystal City

A group of environmental activists and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille gathered in Crystal City this afternoon to ask Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Power, to end its membership in a conservative think tank.

The think tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a membership-based, nonprofit group of state legislators — Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell sits on its board — and private sector businessmen and women focused on “free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments.”

A few dozen activists, organized by the Sierra Club, held signs and pinwheels outside of ALEC’s office along Route 1 and asked Dominion to cancel its membership in the group. The protesters say ALEC’s lobbying efforts include derailing legislation aimed at preventing climate change, attempts at voter suppression and support for stand-your-ground gun laws.

“We must not permit our future well-being to be held hostage by fossil fuel companies and others with a vested interest in maintaining the dangerous, unsustainable status quo,” Bill Euille said, according to a press release. “That means we must push back hard against groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which has expressly opposed the EPA’s effort to curb carbon pollution from power plants as well as fought renewable energy while promoting dirty fossil fuels.”

Several businesses, including Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, have dropped their memberships to the think tank, which counts both Democrats and Republicans among its 2,000 members.

Photos courtesy Caroline Wood

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