Ralph Nader Calls for Connecticut Investigation Into Eversource Negligence

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader yesterday called on the Connecticut state legislature to open an investigation into Eversource’s negligence in failing to properly respond to Tropical Storm Isaias which left hundreds of thousands of residents still without power four days after the storm hit on Tuesday.

In an open letter to Eversource customers, Nader called for “immediate investigatory hearings with subpoenas by the state legislature.”

“The investigation should extend from Eversource and its contractors to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), the state ratifier of Eversource’s derelictions,” Nader wrote.

“The loss of electricity that started on Tuesday afternoon and still has no restoration date for many communities in Connecticut was caused by more than gusty winds,” Nader said. “Eversource was clearly unprepared. Because it knew the storm was coming and was supposed to have learned some lessons from previous hurricanes, Governor Ned Lamont and state legislators have been properly very critical of the Eversource monopoly and its top executives. It is not too early to be specific as to what needs to be done.”

Nader said that state investigators should look into “what needs to be rebated in terms of suspended electricity service plus additional damages for economic losses, once Eversource’s level of negligence is determined.”

“The above directions, among others to be sure, need to be part of the upcoming thorough public dialogue,” Nader wrote. “Too much is at stake in the areas of health, safety, and the economy to allow another round of empty assurances, encased in heavy Eversource lobbying, to continue business as usual.”

From elected officials to the average Connecticut citizen, Eversource is being ripped apart online and in the media for its failure to promptly respond to the storm. It started badly when the utility company’s reporting system failed on Tuesday and it has gone downhill since.

Mark Boughton, the mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, told Danbury radio broadcaster Lou Milano that he was angry at Eversource for its lack of urgency to get power restored to residents of the state.

“I wouldn’t be so upset if Eversource was chipping away at it and they were restoring 300 or 500, 1000 people a day until they got it squared away here, but the reality is that we haven’t seen a truck,” Boughton said. “So they haven’t even started the process to understand what material they are gonna need, how they’re gonna fix things, they keeps pushing things out, everyday they’re not here is another day that we have to wait on the other end and I’ve got, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got seniors who have medical devices, who need oxygen, who have all kinds of different needs via electricity and air conditioning, as well and they don’t get it and so I get angry.”

“I’m angry because we have an organization that’s a monopoly in this state whose CEO makes $19 million dollars a year and they can’t keep the lights on, they can’t prepare for a storm and oh, by the way, they can’t figure out how to keep your rates low because they send out these outrageous bills in July,” Boughton said. “So, you put it all together and I think it’s time for a serious change in terms of the way we buy and deliver power here in the State of Connecticut.”

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