Skip to comments.AG Martha Coakley seeking $4 mil penalty for W Ma Electric Co. based on response to Oct snowstorm
Posted on 07/12/2012 2:10:22 PM PDT by matt04
Attorney General Martha Coakley is seeking $4 million penalty from the Western Massachusetts Electric Company, saying the utility failed to adequately communicate with residents and municipal officials or secure proper staffing levels during the October 2011 snow storm.
In a press release, Coakley is recommending that the state Department of Public Utilities issue the $4 million penalty. In a legal brief filed Tuesday, Coakley said that the electric company failed to meet three separate standards of its plan for responding to storms.
The October 2011 snow storm left thousands of Western Massachusetts customers without power for as many as 12 days, Coakley said. During outages, customers especially those with medical needs and local officials need timely and accurate communications about power restoration efforts. WMECos communications were woefully inadequate and we have recommended a significant penalty for those failures.
Sandra Ahearn, spokeswoman for Western Massachusetts Electric, said company officials "strongly disagree" with the attorney general and will contest the fine.
"The October 28 storm was one of unprecedented magnitude that caused extensive damage to our system and resulted in prolonged outages for many of our customers," she said. "We believe we have demonstrated that WMECo mounted a very aggressive response to the October 28 storm that included extensive, proactive communication with customers before, during and after the storm."
Ahearn added, "We strongly disagree with the Attorney General's recommendations and conclusions and believe the record in the case supports our position. We believe the penalties are without merit."
(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...
Would this not be a $4 million dollar tax? The utility will pass it on to the consumers.
Why not make it a $400 billion dollar penalty/tax. That way they’ll pick up and leave, or just close shop. Who needs the jobs anyways? $400 billion not enough? make it $4 trillion instead.
I wish they’d ask this directly to the MA AG.
The Public Service Commissions of a state generally approve rate hikes for public utilities, so the utilities can’t really just raise prices automatically. However they can ask for rate hikes and effectively factor the fine in there and recoup it over the next year.
The government solution, take a natural disaster to take $4 million dollars from he private sector to the government.
What exactly will this accomplish, besides leaving WMECo with $4 million less to spend on say, tree trimming, infrastructure and communications improvements.
I live in Northern CT and the damage in my area was no different than in Western MA. In many cases they were not repairing small areas, they were rebuilding huge sections of the grid for the ground up all the way from transmission lines to the poles in the individual neighborhoods.
So, effectively, the penalty will paid by the people who had the nerve to be inconvenienced in the first place by the power outage. That’ll teach ‘em!
I’d like to know where she was when we in central MA got wasted with the 2008 ice storm in December. I was out 8 days and I know some were out for two weeks.
Nothing from Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!
The state is a bit short paying all the EBT bills, with all the pizza, lottery cards, cigs, booze put on them lately. So, will definitely help there...
This woman is dangerously incompetent.
” This woman is dangerously incompetent. “
You mean, a Democrat??
IOW, the customers gonna have to pay up.................
Hey Martha, you need to think this through very carefully. Follow the dots. WHO will pay the $4 mil fine? Think hard now.
Instead, why don’t you file a civil suit and throw some of the main honchos in jail for six months. Bet they’ll think twice next time.
Ms. Coakley can go shit in her hat.
Ah, Marsha, Marsha, Marsha...you are truly useless.
Will this four million end up with the fifty million you got from the banks for the “robosigning” scandal? Where did that money go?
That $4,000,000 from the utilities (for which the customers foot the bill) will be deposited in Deval Patrick’s petty cash fund (they have to gas up his state-funded Caddy somehow), and that is $4,000,000 less that could go towards burying utility lines underground in the hope of lessening this problem in the future.
Well done, dopey!
Martha is such a dim witted twit
I almost wanted her to be the Senator over Brown to get her out of the AG seat - like Blumenthal in CT...it stunk that he got into the Senate but at least he’s not doing more harm to CT as their AG. Attorney Generals are like Kings and Queens in their states...better yet - the Sheriff’s of Nottinhams?
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