The interim consultant's report on the Dominion Resources/Virginia Power (DRI/VP) merger identifies problems with the holding company structure.
DRI/VP claim that the report's corporate structure recommendations conflict substantially with their settlement agreement, and appear to impose unique and extraordinary constraints on corporate governance. DRI/VP further argue that recommendations to extend commission control over DRI and its nonutility businesses are unwarranted because there is no evidence that ratepayers were adversely affected by the activities of VP's nonregulated affiliates. The recommendation also could make it more difficult to attract capital on favorable terms, according to DRI.
Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. George Allen's staff has suggested a legislative study to investigate whether the commission is discouraging economic development through its interference. Also under scrutiny is its September 16, 1994, order extending an experimental plan to ease regulation of the state's four largest telephone companies. On October 18, in a related decision, the commission expanded control over holding companies. But commission chairman Hullihen W. Moore wrote a scathing 46-page dissent, describing the order as "anticompetitive" and calling for the state legislature to enact legislation authorizing local exchange competition. The order is under appeal. (em LB
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