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Senate Committee Kills Dominion Energy Oversight Bill

A bipartisan measure that would have given state regulators more oversight over Dominion’s utility rates has died in a Senate committee Monday night.

The bill passed the House with broad bipartisan support. Environmental groups were for it, as were advocates for low-income Virginians. 

But business-friendly Democrats in a key Senate committee shot the measure down. They joined several Republicans, including Senator Tommy Norment, who said the bill would have resulted in too much market uncertainty.   “I have not seen white paper that has put together all these bills that are working their way through pertaining to energy this session and to tell me what the aggregated cumulative impact is going to be on the industry or on the ratepayers. We don’t know,”  Norment said.

There was a lot of money at stake. According to the State Corporation Commission, Dominion has over earned by about $2 billion since 2007. 

If the law had passed, the State Corporation Commission would have been given the ability to review base rates and potentially order refunds to customers.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.