The Governor’s position: He threatened to pull the plug on its state contract if National Grid doesn’t back down from its claim that it couldn’t keep up with demand for gas service after the state denied a permit for a new pipeline.
The decision reached: “National Grid agreed to lift a moratorium on new natural gas hook-ups and will pay $36 million in penalties because of its failure to address the supply issue, its abuse of its customers, and the adverse economic impact they caused” and, pay an additional $7 million to customer’s who suffered hardships. National Grid also agreed to allow a monitor intervene at a cost of $1 million.
My assessment: I feel the company should not have acceded to the settlement described. They serve over 1.8 million customers downstate, with the demand for new gas services exploding exponentially. Without adequate supplies (the cost of which they pay for) their operational viability is questionable. How so, Moody’s Investment Services just issued a negative credit rating for all investor owned utilities in the state including Con Edison. Any replacement company would be foolish to enter this devalued market. I’d bounce the ball back to Gov. Cuomo’s side of the court.