Want NStar to listen more? We must end its monopoly
March 30, 2010
Regarding Brent Harold's March 23 column, "Lower Cape towns resist NStar," NStar would be less arrogant, and more inclined to listen to the customers it's supposed to serve, if its monopoly ended.
Cape residents concerned about NStar's decision to use herbicides should know that bills S1527 and H3087 to allow new municipal electric utilities (or munis) in Massachusetts are now before the Legislature. Sen. Robert O'Leary is the lead sponsor of S1527 (details at www.massmunichoice.org).
These bills amend obsolete language in a century-old statute, which gives investor-owned utilities (like NStar) a monopoly, so cities and towns have the option to form a muni.
Competition from new munis will get NStar to listen more carefully. Otherwise, given NStar's resources (its CEO made $7.4 million last year), NStar will continue to use statutes and regulations to further its own interests, regardless of what others — including its own customers — want.
Please join more than 2,300 people across Massachusetts, including Gov. Deval Patrick and four other candidates for governor, in signing the tinyurl.com/munipetition petition to ask the Legislature to pass these bills without further delay.
The writer is founder of the Massachusetts Alliance for Municipal Electric Choice.