Virgina House Leader Calls for Electricity Rate Freeze

RICHMOND, VA - - House of Delegates Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, D-Henry, issued a statement this week calling on the General Assembly to freeze electric rates in the commonwealth.

Armstrong said the rate freeze should stay in place until the state Legislature passes "meaningful reform" of Virginia's electric utility regulations.

"The citizens and businesses of Virginia, particularly within the Appalachian Power service area, have suffered enough. They deserve action from their elected officials, not lip service, as legislators cut backroom deals with the utilities," Armstrong said.

"Until the General Assembly decides to take action, they should ensure that the people of Virginia do not see another crippling rate increase."

"For the past two years I have introduced legislation to fix electric utility regulation in Virginia and bring relief to customers while ensuring fair rates. Time and again the General Assembly has rejected these efforts, siding with the electric utilities, and claiming that they need more time to see the effects of current law," Armstrong said.

The embattled leader of the House Democrats said he planned to introduce legislation in the 2012 General Assembly session to freeze electricity rates and revamp the regulatory system.

That is, if he is reelected. Ward, who currently represents Virginia's 10th House District, was drawn out of the district during the redistricting process. Under the new map, Armstrong's home was drawn into the 16th House District. He said he will be moving to the 9th District, where many of his constituents now reside under the redistricting plan, challenging Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hills, who has represented the current 9th District for the past four years.


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