Dominion Defends Political Handouts, Squashes Dissent

In commenting on February 7, 2017, about recent activity in the Virginia Legislature, Ivy Main says, “Dominion Power defends its billion-dollar handout from ratepayers; squashes dissent; asks for more.”

She discusses bills that have been proposed this session that could have brought an early end to a five-year prohibition on regulators’ ability to review Dominion Virginia Power’s earnings and to order refunds where warranted (SB 1095), would have prohibited campaign contributions from public service corporations like Dominion Power (SB 1593), and HB 2291 which allows Dominion to seek approval to charge customers for billions of dollars in nuclear power plant upgrades.

As she says, it “is hard to see the 9-2 vote in Commerce and Labor to kill Petersen’s SB 1095 as anything but a blatant, bipartisan gift to Dominion.”

“Legislators themselves publicly reject the idea of a causal relationship between the steady stream of campaign cash and their votes in favor of the bills, while privately acknowledging the sway Dominion holds over the General Assembly. Indeed, the comfortable fiction that campaign donations don’t affect a politician’s votes is such an insult to voters’ intelligence that the wonder is why it took so many years to become a campaign issue.”

Read the full article here.