Home Dominion Power Virginia Del. Mark Keam “Breaks Up” With Dominion, Says It’s “Inappropriate” for...

Virginia Del. Mark Keam “Breaks Up” With Dominion, Says It’s “Inappropriate” for Monopoly Utility to “make political contributions to legislators it lobbies”

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Del.. Mark Keam (D-Fairfax) nails it in his Washington  Post op-ed, which went online this morning. I encourage everyone to read the entire thing, and to listen to what Del. Keam has to say. Here are a few highlights.

  • Del. Keam correctly points out that Dominion’s arguments in 2015 for the “rate freeze” were completely “nonsensical” from the beginning, and that they never should have been accepted.
  • *The reason it was “nonsensical” is simple, in Del. Keam’s words: “Why can’t this giant monopoly comply simultaneously with both federal and state regulations? Why should customers be stuck with an artificially set electric rate when energy prices could go down?”
  • *But of course, god forbid Dominion would just admit it was (wildly) wrong and acquiesce in the repeal of the 2015 law (and refund of overcharges to consumers). Instead, Dominion being Dominion, the company “launched an all-out lobbying campaign to push for a different result.” Ugh.
  • *Dominion, as is its wont, lobbied legislators – who it has, totally coincidentally I’m sure (snark), donated HEAVILY to over many years. The company also, as it’s done many times in the past, actually “drafted its own bill” and rammed it down legislators’ throats.
  • *To “attract Democrats,” Dominion “offered millions in solar and wind energies and energy efficiencies.” As people who actually know something about energy, like Ivy Main, have argued repeatedly, the amount of solar and wind – let alone energy efficiency – Dominion graciously “offered” is completely inadequate, and not even mandatory! A complete joke, in other words.
  • *Del. Keam says he “came to Richmond with an open mind about working with Dominion,” but after watching how things went down in the General Assembly since 2010, he concluded – 100% correctly – “that our political and regulatory systems are clearly broken.”
  • *One of the many, many bad aspects of this legislation is that, as Keam says, it “effectively defangs the [State Corporation Commission -SCC]’s authority to ever again fully regulate Dominion.”
  • *The bottom line, in Del. Keam’s view (again, 100% correct), is that: a) “it is inappropriate for the company to make political contributions to legislators it lobbies to circumvent the SCC’s authority“; b) “Until the General Assembly adopts such a prohibition [on campaign contributions from Dominion], I will not accept direct political donations from Dominion.”

I hope that many others will join Del. Keam and “break up” with Dominion as well. It will be a long-overdue divorce, to put it mildly.