PSC Staff Thinks Evidentiary Hearing Is Unnecessary

May 10, 2013

The New York State Public Service Commission this week responded to a request for an evidentiary hearing regarding a proposed utility merger in the Hudson Valley.

Grassroots group Citizens for Local Power had requested an evidentiary hearing on the proposed merger between Poughkeepsie-based CH Energy Group and Canadian energy company Fortis. A Department of Public Service attorney writes in response that such a hearing would serve no further purpose in evaluating the terms of the joint proposal at this late stage. CH Energy and Fortis filed the joint proposal in January, which has conditions of the deal to protect customers. Democratic State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill calls the recommendation against an evidentiary hearing unwise and irrational, and he is urging the PSC to require the hearing. Earlier this month, two administrative law judges issued a recommended decision on the merger, saying the benefits in the joint proposal are outweighed by overall detriments.