Gaz Metro has everything it wanted. The Green Mountain Power/Central Vermont Public Service merger was approved by the Public Service Board today. The merged companies don't have to give $21 million back to the ratepayers, as they had promised, and as AARP hoped would happen. The state legislature wanted to intervene in favor of the ratepayers, but they didn't. Governor Shumlin got his ducks in order and the legislators reversed their stands on the issue. They didn't "quibble" (the Governor's words) about the $21 million. I blogged about the Governor's persuasive powers in Money Settles in Gaz Metro Pockets, Dust Settles Under the Dome.
here, and a short Alan Panebaker article in Vermont Digger here. This is the same PSB that allowed another Gaz Metro company to charge Vermont rate-payers for building a gas pipeline, instead of funding the pipeline with Gaz Metro money.
However, when it comes right down to it, I don't blame the PSB. The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) is supposed to be the ratepayers advocate in proceedings before the PSB. DPS is supposed to protect the ratepayer and it does not protect them. Seems to me that DPS doesn't defend the ratepayers in issues about money--especially money for a Gaz Metro company. Since nobody is on the ratepayers' side, everything is coming up roses for Gaz Metro.