Va. Senate Approves Bill To Weaken Oversight of Dominion Virgini - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Va. Senate Approves Bill To Weaken Oversight of Dominion Virginia Power Rates

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would weaken state oversight of Dominion Virginia Power's rates has won approval from a Senate panel.

A Senate subcommittee voted unanimously Thursday to approve a bill that would exempt Virginia's biggest electric utility from biennial reviews by the State Corporation Commission for several years.

Dominion said a six-year freeze on its base rate is needed to avoid the premature closing of several coal-powered plants and provide stable rates for consumers in light of potential new federal rules on carbon emissions.

The bill has the backing of some large, heavy-energy using companies but is opposed by others.

Critics also include environmentalists and Attorney General Mark Herring's office. They said lessening oversight of a regulated monopoly like Dominion could result in consumers paying higher-than-necessary electric rates.

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