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PSC green lights Fortis, CH Energy merger

Jun 14, 2013 12:02 am
The New York State Public Service Commission has approved the acquisition of CH Energy Group Inc., owner of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, by Fortis, Inc. of Canada, according to a statement released Thurs., June 13, by PSC Chairman Garry A. Brown. Key provisions of the merger plan include: A freeze on Central Hudson electric and gas delivery rates through July 1, 2015; an extension of the current union contract through June 2017, and the addition of 35 new union jobs; a $5 million community benefit fund established by Fortis for economic development and low-income customer assistance programs; and, a guarantee of $1.85 million per year in savings to ratepayers for five years. Fortis also promised a majority of the Central Hudson board of directors will be residents of the Central Hudson service territory. Speaking with William J. Kemble of the Daily Freeman, Dan Duthie, an attorney representing the takeover opposition groups Citizens for Local Power and Consortium in Opposition, said the state decision failed to consider evidence showing Fortis was largely manipulating corporate accounting methods and was not offering customers benefits. Citizens for Local Power spokeswoman Jennifer Metzger said the commission’s approval was unfortunate. She said, "This is a really bad decision for our service area." Read the full story in the Daily FreemanThe PSC full decision is expected to become available later today, and will be posted online at the Commission's Web site (dps.ny.gov).
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