Cohocton Wind Watch: Schumer to meet with PSC chairman on Iberdrola
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Schumer to meet with PSC chairman on Iberdrola

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., isn’t waiting for another regulatory decision on Iberdrola SA’s bid to buy Energy East Corp.

The state's senior senator has requested and been granted a meeting with Garry Brown, chairman of the Public Service Commission, the five-member board with the final vote on the $4.5 billion takeover.

Schumer has been closely following the agency's deliberations and has been sharply critical of the PSC staff and administrative law judge Rafael Epstein, who earlier this week recommended that the deal be rejected on grounds that it isn't in the public's interest.

Iberdrola, a Spanish utility company, is bidding to purchase Energy East, the parent company of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric and Gas.
Schumer’s office noted that the state’s regulatory process began nearly 10 months ago.

While every other state where Energy East owns assets — including Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire — has approved the acquisition, New York state has not.

“The buck stops with the PSC chair and the commissioners,” Schumer said, noting they aren’t bound by the law judge’s recommendation.

The PSC's vote could shortly follow a July 3 deadline for the interested parties to file reply briefs to Epstein's recommendation.

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