By Old Redneck, DailyKos
Dominion Virginia Power, the biggest energy company in Virginia, is on the verge of completing their deal to buy almost the entire Virginia General Assembly — and that includes a lot of Democrats.
One of Dominion’s lackeys in the Virginia State Senate is Senator Frank Warner (R, Virginia Beach). He introduced SB1349:
SB1349: Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings. Bars the State Corporation Commission (SCC) from conducting a biennial review of the rates, terms, and conditions for any service of Dominion Virginia Power for the eight test periods beginning January 1, 2013, and ending December 31, 2020.
Translated into English, this bill means Dominion will be allowed to avoid state regulation for eight years while having the ability to increase consumers’ electric bills. Dominion would maintain its base rate for eight years but would retain authority to increase fuel surcharges and other “riders” that are added to customers’ utility bills. The base rate typically makes up just over half of a customer’s utility bill. The riders, known as rate adjustment clauses (RACs) would still require SCC approval but without taking into account Dominion’s “costs, revenues, investments or earnings”. The SCC would forego reviewing Dominion every two years, and would not be able to again until 2020. The Virginia Attorney General’s office, which represents consumers in rate cases, said that the bill would eliminate SCC oversight, freeing Dominion to raise fees on consumers.
Dominion claims they must do this because regulations imposed by the evil Obama EPA have raised their cost of doing business to the point where their executives might actually have to show up for work.
At this point, I am not 100% certain of the status of the bill but it appears to have passed all relevant Senate committees and is awaiting vote by the full Senate.
As if this is not enough in itself to piss you off, there’s more: Dominion donates to a lot of non-profits in Virginia. Dominion has told the recipients of its largess that if they don’t support SB1349, they will pull their donations. The Virginia Chapter of the Red Cross has already testified in favor of SB1349.
It’s about time for pitchforks and torches and guillotines.