Green Mountain Power says payback to ratepayers would “kill” merger; CVPS chief testifies $21 million was set aside for ratepayers

Representatives for Green Mountain Power say an attempt by the Vermont Legislature to require a cash payback as a result of a utility merger could sour the deal.

Earlier this week, four representatives proposed an amendment to House Bill 468 that would require Central Vermont Public Service to pay ratepayers $21 million in cash rebates as part of a windfall sharing mechanism.

House Speaker Shap Smith said the amendment was not relevant to the bill, which dealt with a renewable energy mandate, so the house never debated it.

Now they have their sights on House Bill 718, an act relating to miscellaneous matters involving the Public Service Board and Department of Public Service.

Gaz Metro, Green Mountain Power’s parent company, would acquire CVPS if a pending merger goes through. A stipulation of that merger, as required by the Vermont Public Service Board, is that the utility return $21 million to ratepayers as a result of a bailout in the early 2000s when CVPS was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of bad contracts with Hydro-Quebec.

The utilities propose investing the money in an efficiency fund instead of a direct cash payment to current ratepayers. The Department of Public Service generally supports the efficiency fund idea.

Dorothy Schnure, a spokeswoman for Green Mountain Power, said legislative meddling in the process could scuttle the merger.

“Intervention from the Legislature of this magnitude would likely kill the deal and the opportunity to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to Vermonters,” Schnure said.

The utility proposes that it will achieve $144 million in savings for ratepayers in the first 10 years of the merger as well as transfer $1 million annually to a low-income trust.

Schnure said it is a very complex process, and changing one aspect of the merger “would have a significant adverse effect on the deal.”

The AARP, which has intervened in the Public Service Board docket, has pushed for direct cash payments to all CVPS customers based on usage and rate class.

Now four representatives are pressing for the same thing and conditioning the board’s approval of the merger on this type of payback.

Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, Patti Komline, R-Dorset, Paul Poirier, I-Barre, and Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, proposed the amendment this week to the energy bill.

Now the coalition is pushing to add the amendment to the more general DPS and Public Service Board bill.

Pearson said the group had about 60 lawmakers on board with the idea based on conversations Friday.

Browning said there are a lot of unknowns surrounding the future of the bill. For one, she said, some lawmakers may sign on to the idea, then change their minds once utility lobbyists catch their ear. She is also skeptical that it will reach the House floor for debate.

Browning said she thinks the cash payback is important in that the utilities need to keep their word.

“It’s really a question of honoring the deal,” she said. “A promise is a promise.”

Browning said a cash payment would be an infusion of cash for town governments, ski areas, farms and struggling businesses.

“It’s like a little stimulus package,” she said.

The utilities and the Department of Public Service contend investing the money will yield far greater benefits to the state as a whole from decreased usage due to weatherization and other measures.

House Bill 718 is currently in the House Committee on Appropriations.

House Speaker Shap Smith said he had not looked at the specific sections of the proposed amendment or the underlying bill, but he said his general sense is that it probably is germane.

Smith said the lawmakers would have to propose the amendment on the House floor.

He said there are concerns in the House about whether the Legislature should intervene in an ongoing administrative proceeding.

“Many people have some concerns about whether it’s appropriate to interfere in an open docket while testimony is ongoing,” Smith said. “There are a number of people who wonder whether this particular vehicle is the best way to return value to ratepayers.”

Personally, he said, he would rather the Legislature did not get involved in the proceeding.

“I prefer that we not pass legislation that interferes with open dockets with the Public Service Board,” he said. “If at some point in time if you continue to do that you begin to question whether we should have a Public Service Board at all.”

Smith said lawmakers have other means to express their opinions to the Public Service Board. For example, they could write a letter.

Next week will determine whether the Legislature even discusses the amendment proposed by the four lawmakers.

Meanwhile, technical hearings in the Public Service Board docket continue. Utility lawyers representing the various intervenors will continue to question witnesses and press them on the finer details of the merger.

While the utilities argue legislative intervention is a deal breaker, James Dumont, the attorney representing the AARP in the docket, said that is nonsense.

Dumont said cross examination of CVPS CEO Larry Reilly and email exchanges obtained through discovery show Gaz Metro already committed to paying back the money.

A highly-redacted email of May 25, 2011 from Gaz Metro CEO Sophie Brochu to Reilly states, “We also confirm that this revised offer reflects the application of the Vermont Public Service Board’s order, reflected in docket numbers 6460 and 6120 entered on June 26, 2001, to share profit from a Transaction (above book value) up to a total of $16 million, adjusted for inflation (currently $21 million), with ratepayers.”

Dumont said Gaz Metro accounted for the windfall through a reduction in the purchase price.

Now Dumont claims the utility is trying to invest ratepayer money instead of windfall money.

“They said they were going to pay it, now ratepayers have to,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

Alan Panebaker

Comments

  1. Randy Koch :

    The arrogance of the monopolist utilities is breath-taking! They talk about how “legislative meddling” is going to mess up even worse corporate consolidation? Meddling? That used to be called democracy. Will this weaken the authority of the PSB? So be it! After all, they behave like utility sock puppets most of the time anyway. And above all, if this messes up the merger, let’s all get out our hankies and have a good old cry! This merger, like all mergers, will have the effect of conferring more and more political power on this corporate sector and that will inevitably be bad for democracy. They will use this power in all kinds of ways, obvious and subtle and on a huge range of issues in which they feel they have an interest.

  2. Cynthia Browning :

    It is very interesting to hear GMP say that paying the CVPS ratepayers back will scuttle the takeover, and then learn that they certainly assumed they would have to make this payment when they set the terms of the deal.
    Direct cash payback to CVPS ratepayers of the bailout money is the right thing to do and the right time to do it to help Vermonters. Investments in weatherization and efficiency are good things to do, but this is the wrong money to do it with.
    It is important to note that the legislature set up the Public Service Board and the statutes that govern their authority and operations. They work for Vermonters. Every once and a while, it is necessary to give those who work for you some guidance and direction. It is particularly necessary to speak up for ordinary Vermonters, against the adverse position of the giant utility, the Governor, and his Department of Public Service.
    The legislature has the authority and power to intervene in an open PSB docket and did so in 1999 and in 2002. So anyone who uses such a legalistic argument to oppose legislative direction to the board is really saying that this is not an important enough issue to do so, or that they do not support the direct payback.

    Rep. Cynthia Browning, Arlington

  3. Neil Mortensen :

    There must be something missing here.

    Today’s article states:

    A highly-redacted email of May 25, 2011 from Gaz Metro CEO Sophie Brochu to Reilly states, “We also confirm that this revised offer reflects the application of the Vermont Public Service Board’s order, reflected in docket numbers 6460 and 6120 entered on June 26, 2001, to share profit from a Transaction (above book value) up to a total of $16 million, adjusted for inflation (currently $21 million), with ratepayers.”

    And without seeing the actual document to infer context, I’m assuming Ms. Brochu is talking about the renewable energy proposal as she mentions a “revised offer” which fits the requirement to share profit. Two days ago, VT Digger Reported:

    The AARP, which is pushing for CVPS to return $21 million to ratepayers as a result of a bailout in the early 2000s, said testimony Wednesday revealed that Gaz Metro, Green Mountain Power’s parent company, was always prepared to pay that money.

  4. Neil Mortensen :

    Could we get some clarification here? In VTDigger’s Thursday article, Jim Dumont of the AARP said testimony revealed that Gaz Metro was always prepared to pay the money, implying that they were always fine with paying the $21 million directly to ratepayers. Is the quote in today’s article from a redacted email written by Ms. Brochu to Mr. Reilly where that assertion comes from? If so, without further context from the email, it seems pretty clear they always planned on offering an alternate proposal that would satisfy the repayment requirement. I’m not sure what plan they’re discussing in that email from the quote provided, but it sure sounds like it could be the renewable energy proposal they’ve made.

  5. Tom Pelham :

    There’s so much wrong here.

    The orginal deal was very clear. A merger would trigger the commitment to return the $21 million extracted from ratepayers by the Public Service Board to bail out CVPS, including it’s shareholders, from bankruptcy. Now, the utility oligarchy, GMP/Gaz Metro (possibly with our elected leaders and utility regulator in tow) say they have a surrogate plan to keep this commitment and if they don’t get their way, the merger will die (and CVPS shareholders won’t make their 50% profit from the transaction, worth over $147 million to these shareholders)

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=CV+Basic+Chart&t=2y

    Now, Gaz/Metro insists they must keep control of the $21 million to invest it as Gaz/Metro chooses in energy efficiency. It’s notable that the Public Service Board recently increased the charge on ratepayers to support an increase in Efficiency Vermont’s budget to $40 million, so ratepayers are “investing” generously in efficiency.

    This brinksmanship by GMP/Gaz Metro likely portrays the type of treatment Vermonter’s can expect as our oligarchy of utilities merge to a monopoly and use their consolidated power to push around ratepayers and seduce our politicians and our electric utility regulator.

    Let’s take this example as a forwarning. Vermonters should support the efforts of AARP and Rep’s Browning, Komline, Poirier and Pearson and urge them to not blink. If the commitment to ratepayers is not kept, let the merger die. I feel bad for CVPS shareholders, should this happen, but why should they win over $147 million ($12 per share gain times $12.33 million shares outstanding) while ratepayers lose their $21 million.

  6. Dan Maxon :

    I doubt this is the position the utilities take with the bankers who loan them money.

  7. John Groton :

    It’s time for that Neal Lunderville guy to step in and convince his company GMP of what is right for Vermonters. He won’t let them rip us off.

  8. Doug Hoffer :

    To extend Mr. Pelham’s argument, what does this tell us about how the new majority owner will manage VELCO?

    To all those who reacted in shock to the proposal by Senators Illuzzi, Ashe, and Galbraith that VELCO become a quasi-public entity I urge you to reconsider your position.

    • Wendy Wilton :

      Doug, perhaps for the first time I totally agree with you! Vermonters need some sort of check and balance on the utility monopoly that is about to be created, and I support the VELCO ownership concept.

  9. Chuck Kletecka :

    A direct cash payback may mean an over $4 million windfall for CVPS’s largest customer, OMNYA. Much better if that money goes to current customers who truly need it.

    • That would be Omya you are referring to. Are you saying Omya is not a current CVPS customer?

  10. Alex Barnham :

    Who will enforce the law, the contractual agreements, the good faith? Not the consumer and certainly not the courts. Perhaps not until we have lost everything and then it will be too late. Wall Street is full of this type of theft. Read this article about Greg Smith who is leaving Goldman Sachs because of their dishonesty.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/03/greg-smith-goldman-basher-to-write-a-book

    If what he says is true, we need to hear and learn from it. If what he says is not true, he will be in jail. I don’t think he will go to jail.

    Greg Smith: a Stanford education, a Goldman vice-presidency. He was not, after all, a pauper who rose through the company’s ranks from the mail room, only to become disillusioned once he reached its highest floors.

    The New York Daily News.com wrote March 24, 2012 7:44 AM
    “Indeed, the backlash against Smith has been fierce. The most brutal of many pro-Wall Street responses came from Bloomberg View: “It must have been a terrible shock when Smith concluded that Goldman actually was primarily about making money. He spares us the sordid details, but apparently it took more than a decade for the scales to finally fall from his eyes…We have some advice for Smith, as well as the thousands of college students who apply to work at Goldman Sachs each year: If you want to dedicate your life to serving humanity, do not go to work for Goldman Sachs.”

    So, here are the leaders at Golden Sacks setting the pace for the rest of the financial kingdom. The question is: is the decay so bad that it cannot be stopped?

  11. Bruce Post :

    One lacuna in Vermont history is a comprehensive account of private utilities in Vermont and their grasp for dominance. Yet, a slightly more than cursory knowledge of the historical record reveals how the private utilities are relentless in their “power grab” and how they have successfully used allies within the Vermont political structure to achieve their ends.

    One breathtaking example of this is described in the book “Philip Hoff: How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountain State”, written in part by longtime utility lobbyist and former Aiken aide Steve Terry. During Phil Hoff’s attempt to create a “non-profit corporation, backed by the state, to buy and sell the [Canadian] power”, House Republicans enlisted then-U.S. Senator George Aiken to help scuttle the Hoff bill. “… Hoff was still insisting,” according to the book,”forty-five years later that Aiken’s action had cost Vermonters billions of dollars.”

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: The more things change the more they stay the same! Of course, now it appears that the Democratic power elite seems all too cozy with the private utilities and their insatiable appetite.

    Many will argue, with justification, that the Public Service Board is an effective judge of such matters. But, if I remember correctly, the respected Vermont historian Andrew Nuquist many years ago expressed concerns in his book “Vermont State Government and Administration” that the PSB could successfully contend with the private utilities.

  12. Duncan Kilmartin :

    I’ll keep it brief. “Liar, liar, pants on fire”, applies to Mary Powell, Dorothy Shnure, GMP in general. But the corruption extends to the Shumlin administration, who with inside knowledge, told the Nova Scotia bidders to get lost.

    The $21 million is the tip of the iceberg. They hide all the secret terms behind the stonewall of “proprietary information”, and then when they leak out, they threaten us with “loss of the deal”, which emanates from their arrogance.

    Finally, when will we wake up and realize that everything comes from the taxpayers and ratepayers, and the utilities get a guaranteed rate of return, with all the risk on the ratepayers and taxpayers of Vermont.

    What and who are David Deen and Shap Smith afraid of?

    Who cares what Volz thinks about taking the $21 million and investing it in energy savings? Murtha’s Decision clearly showed him to have acted unethically on Vermont Yankee, and not requiring enforcement of PSB’s prior order on the $21 million would simply be further proof of the need for his removal from a judicial position. Keep in mind folks, Volz is a judicial officer in a court of law. I was shocked to see him at the telephone utility party in the Cedar Creek Room recently hobknobbing with those he regulates. I donb’t see judges doing likewise.

    Cynthia, Chris, Patty, and Paul, Shap and David did us and the taxpayers and ratepayers of Vermont a great favor. Now we can devise an amendment that really has an impact to change the lieing and scamming that has become an addiction in extremis for the utilities and politicians.

  13. David Usher :

    An interesting turn of events in the GMP/Gaz Metro CVPS merger now in regulatory hearings. The debate seems to me to circle around the method of repayment to ratepayers. This one may well go to the courts to decide, depending on what the PSB determines as the intent from the original PSB decision in 2000 when CVPS was on the ropes financially.

    I think the AARP has the better argument and they have been spending significantly on TV advertising to make their case with the public.

    The Legislature would do well to let the PSB decide the merger docket and let the parties appeal as they see fit.

  14. David Dempsey :

    Shap Smith says that the house is concerned about intervening in the “ongoing administrative procedure”. The efficiency fund proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to commit highway robbery. If they are allowed to “invest” our money in this efficiency fund, they will get a $21 million liability (loan payable to rate payers) off their books and keep the $21 asset (rate payers money) on their books. They justify their plan by offering a vague promise of unexplained future savings. Their plan will add $21 million dollars to the net worth of CVPS, furthing lining the pockets of the CVPS administrators and stockholders, some of whom stand to make millions on the sale. This all comes on the heels of an 8.6% rate increase the PSB approved. If Shap Smith and other legislators don’t think they should intervene on behalf of Vermonters, who will. It certainly won’t be Shumlin, who approves of the proposal. Maybe he owns some CVPS stock.

  15. Dave Bellini :

    After reading this I think I will sign up for AARP.

  16. I wouldn’t count on the PSB to do well by Vermonters re: cost accounting. I wish some independent scrutiny was applied to the costs of the Lowell wind project, where GMP’s project estimates grew and grew as management made decisions that kept increasing the costs. Intervenors asked the PSB to review the project’s viability based on dramatically increased costs. The PSB refused.

    The way the PSB handled the Lowell wind case deserves a hard look, even from those of you who support wind energy development. If you have a head for numbers and look at the record, you should be shocked and alarmed.

  17. David Dempsey :

    Shap Smith says the house is concerned about intervening in the “ongoing administrative procedure”, alluding to the sale of CVPS. CVPS is proposing to “invest” $21 in ratepayers money that they “borrowed” into a efficiency fund with promises of some future benefits (just monthes after the PSB approved a rate increase of over 8% went into effect). The actual intent of their efficiency fund proposal is to get a $21 million liability (loan payable to ratepayers) off the books and keep the asset ($21 million of ratepayers money) on the books. This increases the net worth of CVPS by $21 million, which will further line the pockets of CVPS administrators and others, some of whom stand to make millions on the sale. This is nothing short of highway robbery. If Shap Smith and the Legislators don’t think they should intervene on behalf of Vermonters on this matter, shame on them and shame on us for voting them into office. We certainly won’t get any help from Shumlin, he is in favor of the efficency fund plan. Maybe he owns some CVPS stock.

  18. I’ll be more specific about how GMP’s Lowell wind project costs increased. Among other increased costs, post-CPG GMP decided to use much larger and different wind turbines than had been considered during the PSB technial hearings. The turbines GMP chose were 20 feet taller than considered in testimony (thereby increasing the aesthetic impact), with 4.5 MW blades on 3 MW towers (thereby increasing noise) and, most relevant to this discussion, at an increased cost of $20 million. GMP told the PSB that the increased cost would be offset by a higher capacity factor, but evidence supporting that statement was not submitted or required by the PSB. That was just one of the very large cost increases that GMP got away with from this PSB, post-CPG. These issues were raised by the Towns of Albany and Craftsbury and by the Lowell Mountains Group, and the PSB chose to ignore their concerns and not to hold further hearings and allowed GMP to proceed. GMP even argued that the increased costs issues had no relevance for the Towns or LMG, and were only the Department’s business to argue. But by then, Governor Shumlin had neutered DPS so that any concerns that might slow down the project were not raised by DPS. All of these increased costs will be billed back to ratepayers.

  19. Coleman Dunnar :

    Shap Smith, ( Shumlin’s right hand man) is now saying “I prefer that we not pass legislation that interferes with open dockets with the Public Service Board,”

    Anybody beginning to notice a pattern here? If the administration doesn’t like the possibility Public Service Board my rule contrary to the administration desire they have no problem stepping in to enjoin the Board from acting (Vermont Yankee) Now that the likelihood is the Board may support the administration’s position they are opposed to legislative intervention.

    Nice flip flop…. Vermonter’s have a very low tolerance for hypocrisy.

    You borrow from Peter you pay Peter back – you don’t give the money to Paul.

  20. Chuck Kletecka :

    Individual commercial customers get enormously higher pay-backs than residential customers. An editorial in the Bennington Banner on March 14th says it all:

    …the average residential customer would receive about $76 or less in a cash payment, representing the low end of repayments, while the average industrial user would receive about $12,500, based on much higher electricity usage.

    A lot of folks portray this as a David and Goliath story. The truth is more like Goliath pays back Goliath. The old lady next door gets small change while commercial customers get thousands. How does that feel?

  21. The utility bailout was $21 million in the early 2000s. The amount returned to rate payers should include interest for at least 10 years; at 4% per year compounded, the amount would be 1.48 x $21 million = $31 million.
    After all, the utilities had use of that money, used it as any capital asset to make profits, would have had to pay interest at at least 4 percent per year (likely a much greater percentage because of poor credit risk) on any bank loan.
    Alternative, the rate payers could be given a $31 million equity stake in any merged company.

  22. John Greenberg :

    Coleman Dunmar draws a parallel where there is none. He quotes Shap Smith as saying: “I prefer that we not pass legislation that interferes with OPEN dockets with the Public Service Board…” (emphasis added) He then brings up Act 160, which was passed at a time when there was no open docket at the PSB.

  23. Cynthia Browning :

    Several more comments to add to this interesting discussion.
    First, the ratepayers are only getting back PART of what they paid to keep CVPS from bankruptcy — the rest went into the value of CVPS that GMP is now buying from the shareholders. What ratepayers might get back is in proportion to what they paid in extra costs, and the higher the electric bill of a customer, the more they paid in. That is why industrial users will get back more than residential customers: they paid in more to bailout CVPS.
    I have it from people working for CVPS and GMP that GMP is paying the $18 million dollar fee that CVPS paid to Fortis for breaking that deal. CVPS, on behalf of its shareholders, has already paid that fee, and as part of the deal GMP is reimbursing them for that cost. So, GMP can come up with $18 million to make shareholders whole at once, but is unwilling to come up with a direct immediate payback of $21 million to the ratepayers that made this entire deal possible?
    This does not bode well for the future.

    Rep. Cynthia Browning, Arlington

  24. I am very curious about the underlying motivation of AARP, an organization which promotes more expensive insurance to its membership. Some legislators seem determined to override legally established administrative procedures, which may very well have unintended consequences such as those affecting Judge Murtagh’s decision re Vermont Yankee.

    • Sam:
      Our “underlying motivation” is to represent the more than 35,000 AARP Vermont members in the CV rate territory by helping to provide them a voice on this issue.

      AARP Vermont argued for, and won, the windfall protection provision in the 2001 Board order that approved rate increases for GMP and CVPS customers. The proposed merger has triggered that order, and we want to see direct payments or refunds go back to ratepayers. It’s pretty simple – Gaz Metro/GMP/CVPS don’t want to pay their debt to ratepayers in real dollars. We strongly believe that this is wrong and are making our case to the Board, and just as important – to our members, their families and friends throughout the state.

      Having just returned from a two-day trip to St. Johnsbury, White River, Brattleboro, Bennington, Manchester and other points along the way to discuss this issue with our members and others – we know that our efforts to engage real people on this matter is making a real difference. Regular Vermonters are watching this one closely, and rightfully so. It is their money after all!

      Greg Marchildon
      State Director
      AARP Vermont

  25. Michael Reddy :

    KILL THE MERGER!
    The proposed takeover of CVPS by Green Mountain Power poses a grave threat to the state of Vermont. Just like the idea of “renewable wind power”, Green Mountain Power sounds so wholesome and Vermont-y, but as is the case with industrial ridgeline wind projects, further investigation reveals a seedy underside carefully managed by well paid Public Relations teams, Lawyers, and Lobbyists to hide the truth from the public. Researching GMP means untangling an intentionally confusing web of dummy corporations—a literal shell game to obfuscate the truth and avoid taxes.1 The truth is, GMP is wholly owned by GazMetro (which already owns Vermont’s only natural gas utility) which is in turn owned by Noverco. Noverco is wholly owned by Enbridge and “the Caisse”/Trencap L.P. It is at this level that the extent to which these corporations systematically destroy ecosystems, ignore property rights, and undermine local autonomy to extract every last dollar of profit becomes clear.

    Using data from Enbridge’s own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that the 804 spills on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010 released approximately 7,083,090 gallons of hydrocarbons into the environment.2 Some “highlights” include:

    On July 4, 2002 an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in a marsh near the town of Cohasset, Minnesota spilling 252,000 gallons of crude oil. In an attempt to keep the oil from contaminating the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was forced to set a controlled burn that created a smoke plume 1-mile high and 5 miles long. 3

    Two separate 2007 failures of an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin resulted in over 176,000 gallons of crude oil being released onto farmland, contaminating the local water supply. 4

    In 2009 Enbridge agreed to pay a paltry $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought against the company by the state of Wisconsin for 545 environmental violations perpetrated while building a different pipeline–the $2.1 billion Southern Access pipeline designed to transport tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Chicago, IL. In a news release from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said “…the incidents of violation were numerous and widespread, and resulted in impacts to the streams and wetlands throughout the various watersheds.” 5

    In July of 2010, a leaking pipeline in Michigan spilled at least 1,139,000 gallons of oil into Talmadge Creek leading into the Kalamazoo River and the Great Lakes. 6

    Enbridge is currently developing the Gateway Pipeline through unceded First Nations’ lands to ship 525,000 barrels of tar sands crude/day to Asia. They are also developing a major pipeline to deliver natural gas extracted through fracking in Pennsylvania7, and they have a history of extrajudicial killing of opponents to their 450 mile pipeline in Colombia8, and have devastated indigenous communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Alberta, and Quebec by taking local farmers’ and unceded First Nations’ lands without compensation.

    Trencap, through which “the Caisse” owns a large portion of GMP, was previously known as Infragaz, and is an owner of petroleum distribution systems around the world, most notably the pipelines formerly owned by Shell that transport nearly all of the gas produced on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to consumers on the European continent.

    Vermont is about to be bought out by an evil energy behemoth–the same one building the equivalent of 21 forty-story skyscrapers on our mountaintops name of “green energy”. Former Gov. Aiken would be rolling in his grave. Do your own research, and stand up to demand an end to this madness.

    1 http://vtdigger.org/2011/07/07/gaz-metro-green-mountain-power/

    2 http://www.tarsandswatch.org/files/Updated%20Enbridge%20Profile.pdf

    3 http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2004/par0401.pdf

    4 http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29343664.html

    5 http://www.hertzschram.com/CM/Articles/67_First%20Consolidated%20Class%20Action%20Complaint%20and%20Jury%20Demand.pdf pg. 5

    6 http://www.epa.gov/enbridgespill/index.html

    7 http://www.tarsandswatch.org/files/Updated%20Enbridge%20Profile.pdf

    8 http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/july-2004-enbridge-spreads-disaster-columbia

  26. Nancy Carey :

    Payback now!

  27. The issue of corporate responsibility and democratic principles aside, $21 million dollars as a base for funding improvements in energy efficiency would have a profound, broad-based and lasting positive impact on the State. This would be enough to stimulate energy retrofits for thousands of residential and commercial buildings. Hundreds of jobs could be created and millions of dollars in annual heat savings could be permanently secured all across the state.
    Yes the money should be returned to rate payers, but the difference between a one time payout of $71 per household and the potential for permanently saving millions of dollars a year for decades seems like a no brainer!

  28. Rob MacG :

    Great article & replies, very informative. In the end I cannot think of a better reason for our household to go solar and get off this grid.

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