December 12, 2017

Eversource threatens suit over pipeline claims

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
An Eversource crew

Regional energy giant Eversource has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Environmental Defense Fund, alleging that the nonprofit's statements about its natural gas supply practices are false and defamatory.

Researchers from EDF, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Wyoming and Vanderbilt University released a report in October alleging that Eversource and Avangrid had artificially constrained natural gas supply on the Algonquin pipeline by "routinely" ordering large deliveries of gas, then sharply reducing those orders "at the last minute."

The constraints resulted in a New England-wide ratepayer cost of $3.6 billion, the report said.

Eversource said the report's findings are "completely unsupported by any legitimate data."

"We are outraged by the reckless claims that EDF continues to perpetuate and are shocked at how aggressively they continue to look for opportunities to spread these incredibly false narratives," Bill Akley, Eversource's president of gas operations, said in a statement.

"As a local gas company, we are required to make sure our customers have enough gas for heating their homes, particularly on cold New England nights. We stand confidently by our supply planning and management strategies and our employees who make those decisions in the best interest of our gas customers."

Eversource's letter says it does not profit from higher gas prices and that it does not benefit from higher prices.

EDF Spokesman Jon Coifman said the Eversource letter is being reviewed by counsel.

"We stand by the analysis and reject this obvious attempt to intimidate and chill legitimate public inquiry," Coifman said.

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