Former Va AG, Trump admin official against state energy bill

Department of Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Threats to the Homeland" Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

Former Virginia Republican attorney general and Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli came out against an energy regulation overhaul bill in the General Assembly.

In writing for WRAL’s opinion section, Cuccinelli said his home state was “several years ahead of North Carolina in passing (bad) new energy laws, some of which have resulted in major costs for customers.”

Cuccinelli said a similar structure in rate hikes approved in Virginia “has been disastrous for customers.”

He says from 2017-2020, regulators announced that Dominion Energy over-collected $1.143 billion from customers.

Cuccinelli also took issue with oversight, saying the proposed bill unbalances power from the N.C. Utilities Commission to the advantage of Duke Energy.

“Until we move away from monopolies (a desirable goal) and increase market competition, the independent role of the Utilities Commission is going to be critical to achieving the balance between Duke’s right to make a reasonable profit and the rights of families and businesses across North Carolina to reliable and lowest-achievable-cost power. HB951 badly misses this balance,” he says.