PUC concludes proposal violates state law
October 6, 2016 (CONCORD, NH) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to a decision by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) siding with CLF and rejecting a proposal from Eversource to purchase natural gas capacity on Spectra’s Access Northeast pipeline project at the risk of businesses and families.
“One report after another continues to conclude that building more natural gas infrastructure is a bad deal for our economy and our environment, and doing so on the backs of hardworking businesses and families just adds insult to injury,” said Tom Irwin, Director of CLF New Hampshire. “Today, the PUC recognized the irresponsibility and illegality of such a scheme by plainly rejecting this proposal. This important decision is another nail in the coffin for a risky pipeline that we don’t need, we don’t want, and we can’t afford.”
Today’s order from the PUC comes on the heels of a decision in August from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a case brought by CLF, finding the same financing scheme to be unlawful. More information about the Massachusetts decision can be found here.
In today’s order, the PUC states regarding Eversource’s proposal: “That proposal, however, goes against the overriding principle of restructuring, which is to harness the power of competitive markets to reduce costs to consumers by separating unregulated generation from fully regulated distribution. It would allow Eversource to reenter the generation market for an extended period, placing the risk of that decision on its customers. We cannot approve such an arrangement under existing laws.”
CLF experts are available for further comment.