Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a multi-billion dollar utility merger earlier this month, Massachusetts–which uses power generated by Northeast Utilities and NSTAR–filed this motion on July 14 asking to stall the corporate transaction.
If the merger is approved, the two utilities would join to create a $17.5 billion gas and electric company that would provide energy to nearly 3.5 million customers across New England.
But an alleged choice by the companies to limit disclosure of the extent of the environmental and economic impacts of the merger, as well as the potential costs and benefits to customers has raised concern at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.
“The companies should not be allowed to skim over or totally ignore their obligation to provide evidence of the costs and benefits of the proposed merger,” this motion says. “Put simply, the companies should be required to provide a merger integration plan, a climate change impact analysis, and a proposed rate change schedule before this docket proceeds any further.”
If approved, this motion could delay the merger till 2012 at the earliest, by which time the MA DOER will have time to collect what state Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia called “sufficient data” for a decision.