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CLF’s Jerry Elmer asks, “How stupid does Invenergy think the people of Rhode Island are?”



“In other words, while it is true that Invenergy could file a similar complaint in the future, Invenergy will not be doing so,” asserted Invenergy Attorney Mark Russo.

Invenergy has proposed a $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant to be built in the middle of the pristine forests of north west Rhode Island.

In December, Invenergy filed a lawsuit at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which if successful, would have transferred $168 million in interconnection expenses onto Rhode Island and New England electricity ratepayers. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer wrote an oped about the lawsuit in the Providence Journal about this.

Invenergy’s lawsuit was one of the reasons that Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin listed when he announced his opposition to Invenergy’s proposal.

“When CLF exposed Invenergy’s secret effort to transfer $168 million in interconnection expenses to ratepayers, the outcry was huge; as a result, Invenergy was forced to voluntarily withdraw its lawsuit at FERC,” said Elmer. “But on February 13th Invenergy filed a document with the Rhode Island Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) in which Invenergy admits publicly that there is nothing to stop Invenergy from re-filing the same, identical request with FERC, even after Invenergy gets a permit from the EFSB.

“How stupid does Invenergy think the people of Rhode Island are?”

According to Elmer, “Invenergy is saying to the EFSB and to the whole world:  ‘Trust us.  We can re-file our request to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to ratepayers any time we want, even after we get an EFSB permit.  We ask the public to trust us when we say we won’t do that, even though we can.’

“Invenergy is telling us – as directly as it possibly can – that it is not a company that can be trusted,” said Elmer.

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About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.