Editor’s note: InDepthNH.org will update when the Environmental Defense Fund responds to a request for comment.
Updated at 6 p.m. Monday
Jon Coifman, a spokesman for Environmental Defense Fund, said, “We have received the Eversource letter of December 11 and referred it to counsel for review. We stand by the analysis and reject this obvious attempt to intimidate and chill legitimate public inquiry.”
By Eversource News Release
Energy company takes extraordinary step in ordering group to stop perpetuating false and defamatory statements
HARTFORD, Conn. and BOSTON, Mass. (December 11, 2017) – Eversource Energy today put the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on notice that the company will pursue legal action if EDF doesn’t halt its false and defamatory statements regarding Eversource’s gas purchasing practices.
“Your false and misleading statements are immediately actionable and expose you and those acting in concert with you to liability for substantial damages,” the Cease and Desist letter states. “If you do not cease and desist from all further publication of such statements, Eversource will take all appropriate action; indeed, we have retained outside counsel to protect our rights.”
The EDF earlier this year published a document concerning Eversource’s gas purchases and containing statements that are completely unsupported by any legitimate data. In subsequent presentations and interviews, EDF has repeatedly and falsely stated that Eversource has intentionally withheld gas pipeline capacity from the wholesale power market.
“We are outraged by the reckless claims that EDF continues to perpetuate and are shocked at how aggressively they continue to look for opportunities to spread these incredibly false narratives,” said Eversource President of Gas Operations Bill Akley. “As a local gas company, we are required to make sure our customers have enough gas for heating their homes, particularly on cold New England nights. We stand confidently by our supply planning and management strategies and our employees who make those decisions in the best interest of our gas customers.”
The Cease and Desist letter demands that EDF immediately refrain from any further defamation of Eversource, and that EDF remove all versions of its document from its website and advise all parties to whom they have supplied the document to do the same.
The EDF piece has been widely discredited by industry experts because it reveals a basic lack of understanding of how gas distribution companies purchase gas supplies and the transmission pipeline capacity to deliver those supplies to customers. Eversource makes no profit on the energy supply portion of the bill. Whether supply costs go up or down, fuel costs are passed directly to customers in adherence with state regulations.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas and supplies water to approximately 4 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its more than 8,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceEnergy). For more information on our water services, visitwww.aquarionwater.com.
CONTACT: Caroline Pretyman
Martin Murray, Manager
Eversource Media Relations, NH