To the Editor:
The merger between GMP and CVPS isn't about saving money for Vermont ratepayers. It's about giving transnational Canadian corporations a monopoly over electricity production and distribution in Vermont. This is made very clear in an "Investor Factsheet" prepared by Valener, one of GMP/Gaz Metro's corporate owners, which states that acquiring CVPS is "In line with Gaz Metro's vision to consolidate electric distribution activities in Vermont." The likely goal of this consolidation is to use Vermont as a transmission corridor for sending cheap power from Hydro Quebec to southern New England. In exchange for a destructive swath of high-tension power lines running the length of Vermont, GMP/CVPS ratepayers may see their rates lowered by about $17 per year. Not a very good deal, in my opinion.
The merger has been consistently pushed by the Shumlin administration, which has serious conflicts of interest. Gov. Shumlin himself is extremely close to Mary Powell, CEO of GMP, and Public Service Department head, Elizabeth Miller, is married to a partner in the law firm representing GMP. No wonder Vermont's interests haven't been adequately protected.
With Gaz Metro starting off this merger by boldly stealing money from CVPS ratepayers, what do you think will happen when they have monopoly control? At the very least the merger should wait until there is an open discussion of these issues. We know why GMP is in a hurry, but it is in the public interest to slow down and weigh the merger's full impacts.