New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Tuesday issued a letter to National Grid CEO John Pettigrew and President John Bruckner giving 14 days notice of New York State’s intent to revoke National Grid’s certificate to operate its downstate gas franchise. The Governor came to this conclusion following National Grid’s failure to provide “adequate and reliable service,” including failing to address supply issues, neglecting the needs of their customers, stalling private development, and the associated diminution of tax revenues to local governments.
In his letter, Cuomo notes that “National Grid (and all utilities in the state) operate only if it is in the public interest for the company to operate.
“The Public Service Law provides that a utility is granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity if the corporation can provide “adequate and reliable service” and the utility’s operation is “in the public interest.” There are two additional open safety violation proceedings at the public service commission, denoting your continued reckless disregard for the obligations incumbent upon National Grid as a public utility.
“Further, given National Grid’s mishandling of the gas supply system on Long Island and New York City as evidenced by your recent “moratorium” on service there is no doubt National Grid failed to provide “adequate and reliable” service. Your recent admission to the Public Service Commission that “more could have been done to communicate with customers” effectively concedes that National Grid improperly denied service to over 1,100 households and is demonstrable evidence of both your inability to provide adequate service and take advantage of the public you serve.”
The governor writes that to National Grid’s CEO and President that “[t]he essential responsibility for a utility to provide adequate and reliable service is to manage the supply and demand. The very lack of supply you now point to as the reason for your denial of service to thousands of customers exhibits your failure to plan for supply needs. Your fundamental legal obligation as mandated by your certificate of operation was to plan and provide for future needs. You failed by your own admission.”