Rutland The attention given the proposed merger between GMP and CVPS has largely been focused on control of VELCO, which manages Vermont’s transmission lines.
But there are many other issues to consider – not the least of which is that the merger would put a Canada-based transnational corporation (GMP’s parent company, Gaz Metro) in control of 70% of Vermont’s electric power. What would this effective monopoly mean for ratepayers? What would it mean for Vermont’s small electric co-ops? How would it affect the balance between local and corporate control?
Before making up their minds about the merger, Vermont citizens should know that it would likely lead to high-tension power lines running the length of Vermont (so that Hydro Quebec can deliver power to southern New England), and that profits from Vermont ratepayers would flow into the coffers of Enbridge, a major polluter and a key player in tar sands development.
Citizens should also consider the cozy ‘revolving door’ relationship between GMP and the Shumlin administration (the governor endorsed the proposed merger before a shred of testimony had been presented to the Public Service Board). Meanwhile, the husband of Public Service Department head Liz Miller works for the law firm representing GMP. Her suggestion that a few extra seats on VELCO’s board should be reserved for the “public” is little more than a bone tossed to merger opponents.
This merger is simply not in the public interest, and should be denied. It benefits no one but GMP and its corporate owners.