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EFSB rules in favor of three motions that strongly bolster case against Invenergy’s power plant



The Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) met today to hear three motions. All the motions were decided in favor of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Town of Burrillville, the two intervenors opposed to Invenergy‘s proposed $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant.

The first two motions, CLF’s motion to admit the first two pages of of a document from ISO New England that CLF contends demonstrates the degree to which Invenergy has misstated facts before the EFSB and CLF’s motion to have the EFSB take administrative notice of Invenergy’s post hearing memo on the issue of need, generated in response to the PUC’s advisory opinion hearing, were both approved without the objection of Invenergy.

The third motion, from the Town of Burrillville,and argued by Burrillville Attorney Michael McElroy, asked the EFSB to reject the Public Utility Commission’s advisory opinion outright, due to the opinion being now over two years old and woefully out of date. That motion was passed on a 2-0 vote of the board. (Board chair Margaret Curran left the hearing early as she was not feeling well, leaving board members Janet Coit and Meredith Brady to decide the motions.)

“We are pleased with the Board’s common sense decision,” said Burrillville Town Manager Michael Wood. “The Town is painstakingly making the case that building a new power plant in Rhode Island is not justified.”

“The EFSB’s decisions today were huge,” said Jerry Elmer, CLF senior attorney. “On Labor Day, Invenergy had two basic arguments in support of the idea that the plant is needed. One was that they had this agreement, this Capacity Supply Obligation from the ISO. That disappeared on September 20. The other argument was ‘Well, the PUC advisory opinion said that we were needed.’ That disappeared today.”

“This is another nail in Invenergy’s coffin,” continued Elmer. “It makes it even more likely than it was before today that the application for the building permit will be denied by the EFSB.”

During his argument in support of Burrillville’s motion to dismiss the PUC Advisory Opinion Elmer spent a long time sharply outlining a long list of misrepresentations and evasions on the part of Invenergy (See Video 3 below).

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“Invenergy was unhappy that I pointed out specific example, by reading from the transcript, reading from the record, where Invenergy has misrepresented facts, lied to the ISO, lied to the EFSB, lied to the parties,” said Elmer. “That’s strong language.

“These things were not said glibly or casually. I said them slowly, carefully, deliberately, reading from the record the examples to support that and, importantly, you’ll notice that Invenergy did not refute them.

“[Michael] Blazer [Attorney for Invenergy] did not argue. He didn’t disagree. He didn’t say I was mistaken. And I think that those facts were not lost on the EFSB today.”

Here’s the video:

Motion 1:

Motion 2:

Motion 3:

Jerry Elmer

Margaret Curran

Meredith Brady

Janet Coit

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The hardest working news organization in Rhode Island! Uprise RI was founded in 2017 by Steve Ahlquist, and focuses on civil liberties, social justice, and human rights.