by Karen Torrent, Esq. of Falls Church, Virginia. The author is an attorney who represented herself as a Dominion customer in challenging the constitutionality of Dominion’s rate freeze before the Virginia Supreme Court, which upheld the law. (See Old Dominion Committee for Fair Utility Rates v. State Corp. Commission.)
Virginia voters’ historic electoral sweep in November included a powerful and clear
mandate: to reject Dominion Energy’s years of campaign money control over state
legislators and restore democratic power and energy savings to consumers–just as the
Commonwealth’s founders and constitution envisioned.
Yet our state senator, Democrat Dick Saslaw, who represents parts of Fairfax County, including the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, didn’t seem to get the memo. Saslaw supported Dominion three years ago, when the utility succeeded in getting legislation passed that froze our power rates at an artificially high level. That law continues to allow Dominion to keep hundreds of millions of dollars in unearned profits and prevents state regulators from reviewing Dominion’s rates until after 2022. Now, Senator Saslaw is supporting Dominion yet again, against other legislators who want to return the money to customers.
At a Senate committee hearing on Monday, January 16, Senator Saslaw helped kill a bill introduced by Fairfax Senator Chap Petersen that would have ended Dominion’s
boondoggle and returned the money to ratepayers. Senator Saslaw said he’s developing
an alternative bill with Dominion. That doesn’t sound good. It appears Saslaw and Dominion don’t want refunds to consumers, they want to “repurpose” the money consumers overpaid to use for pet projects that will only maximize the power company’s long-term profits and dominance over ratepayers. That’s not good enough.
A public utility is supposed to serve the public. By controlling lawmakers for years,
Dominion has been serving itself. That needs to stop now.
Let’s tell Senator Saslaw and the Virginia legislature to do the right thing. Call and
email Senator Saslaw’s office and your state delegate to support Delegate Sam Rasoul’s
bill, HB 96, lifting the Dominion rate freeze, and stop Sen. Saslaw’s “Dominion –
Senator Saslaw’s contact info is firstname.lastname@example.org and 703-978-0200.
Your state delegate and their contact info can be found at: