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Reconsider Support Of Proposal

Courier-Post — Tuesday, December 13, 2013

Letter To The Editor

Eighty-five municipalities and counties should reconsider their support of PSE&G's $4 billion "Energy Strong" proposal, which lacks critical information on how PSE&G plans to spend this money to make the electric grid more resilient.

I do not minimize the importance of continuous, reliable electric service and the need for a utility infrastructure capable of reasonably withstanding extreme weather events, but I believe these extreme weather events are providing a convenient pretext for opportunistic utility spending that could result in windfalls to utilities and unwarranted, long-term financial burdens to ratepayers.

"Energy Strong" is simply a blank check for PSE&G to spend ratepayers' money as it wishes with no set goals or benchmarks to analyze its performance. If the state were to approve PSE&G's $4 billion request, even PSE&G acknowledges most New Jerseyans will continue to have the same outage problems when the next storm hits.

You know something is objectionable when the Chemistry Council of New Jersey is joined by the New Jersey Sierra Club, AARP New Jersey, New Jersey Citizen Action, NJPIRG and New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition to form the New Jersey Coalition for Affordable Power to oppose the $4 billion PSE&G proposal.

I agree with PSE&G keeping the lights on in our towns and counties is important. There is nothing preventing PSE&G from making these energy investments now. It simply won't without first getting the financial regulatory giveaways that will benefit PSE&G shareholders at ratepayers' expense.

If you think a $4 billion rate hike will prevent PSE&G outages, think again.

HAL BOZARTH
Executive Director
Chemistry Council of New Jersey
Trenton

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