Denenberg Applauds Joint Nassau/Suffolk Statement Criticizing National Grid/KeySpan Acquisition
Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) applauded a joint statement issued by both Nassau and Suffolk counties with the state Public Service Commission voicing its objections to National Grid’s proposed acquisition of KeySpan Corp., stating that the savings promised would do little to help ratepayers.
Denenberg, who has held several public hearings over the past year and voiced his concerns over the proposed acquisition, was a driving force behind the statement.
“After listening to ratepayers for months, I am pleased that both Nassau and Suffolk counties recognize what I have been saying all along,” Denenberg said. “Simply put, this deal will not help ratepayers the way they were promised from the beginning. National Grid and KeySpan have been promising savings for everyone, but it’s more beneficial to shareholders, than to ratepayers.”
Denenberg pointed to the fact that, despite no agreement being made on who would clean up more than two dozen toxic gas-plant sites, some of the cleanup costs are being included into the calculation of gas rates.
Denenberg also questioned the validity of the estimated $602 million in projected synergy savings from the merger, pointing out that much of that number comes from rate-making adjustments, not true savings. He cited an estimated $90 million in savings that would’ve been passed to the ratepayer whether the merger happened or not, and $70 million from a change in calculations that merely puts the rate increase off for another day.
“In addition to these questionable savings, they’re refusal to include sufficient provisions for the cleanup of toxic gas-plant sites all but guarantee a large rate increase in the future,” Denenberg added. “This is a raw deal for Nassau County and its residents, period.”