For Immediate Release
February 13, 2018
Statement by Delegate Cline on HB 1558
RICHMOND – Delegate Ben Cline (R-Lexington) issued the following statement today regarding his vote in the Commerce and Labor Committee in opposition to HB 1558:
“Back in 2015, the Virginia General Assembly responded to the threat of higher energy costs from President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ by freezing electricity rates for consumers. This law protected Virginia ratepayers and small businesses from the higher electricity rates that would have resulted from its implementation. Fortunately, those higher rates did not occur thanks to the election of President Trump in 2016 and his repeal of Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan.’ Now that the threat of Obama’s plan has passed, we should repeal the 2015 law and allow consumers to benefit from declining electricity rates,” said Cline.
“Unfortunately, HB 1558 does not accomplish that goal. While it will eventually repeal the freeze and return some of the overcharges to consumers, this bill does not go far enough. We need to completely repeal the 2015 law and return all overcharges since 2015 that occurred to the ratepayers. Redirecting recent ratepayer overcharges to fund infrastructure improvements without going through the normal SCC process is unfair to the consumers who paid these higher rates and who deserve a full refund. I will be voting against final passage of the bill today, and I hope that a better solution can be found as this bill moves forward.”
Cline represents the 24th House District, including the Cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, Bath County, Rockbridge County, and parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties. He was elected in 2002, and re-elected in November 2017. Cline is a member of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, the Finance Committee, the Courts of Justice Committee, and he is chair of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee. In addition, he is House Co-Chairman of the Conservative Caucus.