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Dominion Energy’s Revolving Door of Corporate Cronyism; CEO Appointed to Virginia Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates

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by Glen Besa

Dominion Energy Democrats pass through the monopoly utility’s Revolving Door with Virginia Government

Regulated monopolies, like Dominion Energy, are dependent on their regulators for profit and favor. In Dominion’s case, the regulator is the Virginia General Assembly more than the State Corporation Commission (SCC). Most times that the SCC makes a decision contrary to Dominion Energy’s interests, legislation moves through a captive Assembly to undo the SCC’s actions. 

Basically, Dominion Energy is a parasitic corporation, and the General Assembly, especially its leadership – Democratic and Republican – is its host.  As a highly effective parasite, Dominion adapts to the winds of political change in its host. As the Democrats have come to dominate Virginia politics, the leadership at Dominion Energy passed from Republicans like the recently deceased Thomas Farrell, to Democrats like Robert M. “Bob” Blue, who now serves as Dominion’s President and CEO.   As noted in his Dominion Energy bio, “Prior to joining Dominion Energy, Blue served as counselor to the Governor and director of policy for Virginia Governor Mark Warner…”

This matching of party affiliation between Dominion Energy leadership and Virginia state government ensures access and a sympathetic reception to Dominion’s entreaties, not to mention the millions in campaign contributions it has lavished on Virginia political elites over the years. 

Another source of Dominion’s political clout comes from the revolving door between Dominion and state government. Dominion executives typically get picked by Democratic and Republican Governors to serve on a variety of boards and commissions that oversee the business of state government, and many public officials find work at Dominion upon leaving office.   The total cost to Virginians of this parasitic relationship is huge.

The most egregious example of Dominion’s parasitic impact is the billions in overcharges it extracts from its ratepayers. Whether intentional (Dominion gets to retain 30% of all overcharges to fatten its bottom line) or due to poor financial projections, the Virginia General Assembly has done little to rein in this abuse. 

With Dominion’s mismanagement or rigging of its electricity rates to the detriment of its customers, it is surprising (or not) to see the July 2nd appointment of Bob Blue to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates

Why would Governor Northam put his trust in Blue to estimate state revenues with Blue’s history of nine-digit errors in calculating the rates he charges Dominion ratepayers?  

Well, let’s ask him! Governor Northam, given Dominion Energy’s gross incompetence or worse in overestimating the cost of its electricity resulting in $2 billion in customer overcharges, why would you appoint Dominion Energy President and CEO Bob Blue to the Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates?  

Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, and are not intended to reflect the opinion or the positions of any organizations with which he may be associated. 

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