Atlantic Coast Pipeline Corporate Backers Fund Faulty Pro-Pipeline Poll
On May 9th, 2017, a group called EnergySure tweeted:
EnergySure – Standing Up for Reliable Energy
The EnergySure Coalition is a group of businesses, organizations and individuals across North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and beyond that is standing up for reliable energy in our region.
The tweet was referring to the results of an October 2016 poll by the Tarrance Group that claimed 55% of likely Virginia voters supported the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
This claim is dubious, however. The underlying poll was based on a single loaded question, performed by a pro-industry conservative polling company with ties to a pro-ACP politician, and backed and paid for by the same corporate interests that are pushing for the pipeline.
EnergySure is a business-backed coalition that in part operates as a public relations wing for the ACP. The group is funded by the four companies behind the pipeline — Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont, and Southern Company Gas. EnergySure and its members include the companies behind the ACP, local and state chambers of commerce, and a who’s who list of energy and construction industry backers and business organizations, from the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance to the North Carolina Petroleum Council.
The timing of the EnergySure tweet is not coincidental. Dominion, the main force behind the ACP, is facing political heat at home, with a leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate sharply opposing the pipeline.
Grassroots action is also escalating. On May 10th, scores of protesters demonstrated outside its annual shareholders’ meeting. This poll result that EnergySure tweeted about last week was the same one it first tweeted about last October — a move back then that was also brought on by a sense of growing resistance to the pipeline.
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