Did Eversource do a very bad thing? State to investigate

CommonWealth reports the state Department of Public Utilities is going to investigate an allegation that Eversource helped raise electricity rates by futzing around with the supply of natural gas used to generate electricity around here.

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So

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If this is true.. any one want to tell me why it's OK to have Eversource be an Electric AND gas company for the same area?

Shocked

Capt. Louis Renault: I'm shocked that there is gambling in this establishment.
Waiter: Sir, here are your winnings.

Claude Rains' character in "Casablanca", 1942

If found guilty

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send C-suite executives to prison. Don't just make the company pay a small cost-of-doing-business monetary penalty that's a fraction of their gains.

Can't be passed on if you regulate the price

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One place you can take it from, which makes complete sense: stock dividends.

The share price will suffer, but it should.

This is in addition to personal criminal penalties for any executives and others found complicit.

This is all if they are found guilty. Right now, there's just an investigation.

That's not how it works

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Regulated assets require explicit permission from the DPU to collect. Fines are often not recoverable -- in that case, it's the investors who eat the cost, not the ratepayers.

Article says AG Healey is

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Article says AG Healey is investigating. But shouldn't her office done that prior to approving the rates during the review period?

Seems like 'consumer protection' aspect of the office is a farce for allowing the AG to shake down industries for campaign contributions and political points while any real wrongdoing may be swept under the rug for the right price.

Maybe it's time for Massachusetts to have a non-partisan Attorney General's office and a separate equally powerful Inspector General's office to keep each other honest. Works for other states. Why not here?

That's not obvious gouging.

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Much of our East Coast refineries are on the Gulf. If a hurricane shuts one ore more of them down, or disrupts the pipelines, we'll have a temporary reduction in supply. Sometimes we won't even know how temporary.

Go back to Econ 101. If supply is reduced, price goes up. Them's the curves.

Remember those worries of shortages?

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Calls after calls that they needed new pipelines NOW! Pipes that seemed to end in distribution points to export gas?

Yeah, hopefully they twist the screws on this one and jail every executive that pushed this plan through. They used their Monopoly to hurt the citizens of the state for their own gain.