Letter: National Grid Investigation Requires More Transparency and Public Participation

September 26, 2019

Image of NY Senate Seal.
On September 26, Senator Kavanagh and twelve other senators signed a letter addressed to Chairman John Rhodes of the Public Service Commission that calls for a more publicly transparent investigation by the Commission into the natural gas moratorium instituted by National Grid.

September 26, 2019
John Rhodes, Chairman
New York State Public Service Commission
3 Empire State Plaza, 20th Floor
Albany, NY 12223

Dear Chairman Rhodes:

We, the undersigned members of the New York State Senate, write regarding the Public Service Commision (PSC) investigation of National Grid’s denial of natural gas connections in Kings,Queens, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. While we appreciate PSC’s commitment to opening an investigation into this matter, as you mentioned in a letter sent to several of us on September 17, 2019, we request that PSC open formal, public proceedings, including a matter and case number, in order to enhance transparency and enable customers and other stakeholders to monitor and participate in the investigation.

Our constituents and National Grid’s customers, residential and commercial alike, are frustrated by the uncertainty surrounding their gas service. Customers with renovated homes, affordable housing projects, and new businesses are being denied gas service as a result of the current moratorium. It is reassuring that inquiries into National Grid have been proposed by the PSC, Governor Cuomo, and Attorney General James, but at this time, there is no way for the public to determine the status of any investigation, provide evidence of their losses or damages, or submit comments for the record. Therefore, we urge the PSC to promptly issue case and matter numbers for this investigation, and conduct robust local outreach to communicate updates on the status of the investigation and available opportunities to submit comments.

It is our expectation that collecting testimony from affected customers and other concerned
parties will elucidate the many health and safety, quality of life, and economic implications of this moratorium. Ultimately, we hope that the PSC will be able to order measures to mitigate these impacts on our constituents.

If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact any of us directly, or via Greer Mayhew in Senator Kavanagh’s office at 718-875-1517 or gmayhew@nysenate.gov.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Senator Brian Kavanagh
Senator Julia Salazar
Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Leroy Comrie
Senator Kevin Thomas
Senator John E. Brooks
Senator Andrew Gounardes
Senator Diane Savino
Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.
Senator Simcha Felder
Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Senator Jessica Ramos
Senator James Sanders, Jr.