For Immediate Release
March 30, 2016 April 6, 2016
Contact: Rep. Don Turner / Rachel Feldman, Office of Lt. Governor Phil Scott
Republican Legislative Leaders Respond to Announcement of VT Hydropower Working Group
Montpelier, Vt. – In a press conference Tuesday, Governor Shumlin announced the formation of an advisory working group to review whether the State of Vermont should purchase TransCanada Hydro Northeast’s hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River.
House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) said, “I support the effort to explore clean and green options that could help power our energy needs, and enable us to exercise more control over our energy future. However, the potential environmental and financial benefits that accompany public ownership of new energy sources must be weighed against the overall costs to the state government and taxpayers.”
Lt. Governor Phil Scott began a conversation with Vermont utility company leaders Monday regarding a review of a potential cooperative purchase of the dams.
“It’s crucial that all deciding parties, and Vermonters, fully understand the value of these assets and determine the best course of action from a financial, energy and environmental perspective, while ensuring that Vermonters are protected from the financial exposure of such a large purchase,” said Lt. Gov. Scott. “Ultimately, the decision should be based on whether the dams can reduce costs for ratepayers and make Vermont more competitive in the national and global marketplace.”
Lt. Gov. Scott and Rep. Turner hope that the working group will succeed in conducting a transparent, independent assessment, and put forth recommendations regarding the feasibility of such an acquisition without directive from the Shumlin Administration.