Thursday, February 16, 2012

House Minority Leader’s Statement on the Patrick Administration’s Agreement with NSTAR

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement in response to the agreement between the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and NSTAR:

“Once again we find the Patrick Administration making costly decisions with their hearts and not their heads. In this instance, they have taken the turn down the road of legalized extortion.

The staggering cost of electricity in Massachusetts already suppresses economic growth. Strong-arming NSTAR to purchase Cape Wind as a condition of the company’s merger with Northeast Utilities will ultimately increase electricity costs and hurt Massachusetts’ ratepayers, businesses, and municipalities. We must put an end to closed door negotiations and sweetheart deals that have a significant impact on the wallets of the residents of the Bay State.

The Legislature continues to ignore a Republican-led proposal to bring transparency to long-term renewable energy contracts with public utilities. House Bill 3767, which has yet to receive a hearing and languishes in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications and Energy, not only requires competitive solicitation of long-term contracts, but would ensure that the Department of Public Utilities only approves contracts that are cost-effective for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers.

In an effort to further highlight the importance of this issue, the House and Senate Republicans have included the language of H.3767 within the energy portion of their Jobs Package. The Patrick Administration’s method of holding utilities hostage to achieve their energy goals cannot and should not be tolerated.”