On December 11, 2017, Eversource Energy (“Eversource”) sent a cease and desist letter to Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund (“EDF”) and N. Jonathan Peress, EDF’s Senior Director of Energy Market Policy. Specifically, Eversource directed both EDF executives to immediately stop the publication of all statements insinuating that Eversource has withheld gas pipeline capacity from the wholesale electricity market in order to earn profits from higher prices.
Eversource’s letter to EDF executives is in response to EDF’s publication of assertions tied to Eversource, regarding the intentional withholding of gas pipeline capacity in order to profit from higher electricity prices. As support for its statements, EDF relied on a study, sponsored by EDF, which discusses how local utilities in New England game the natural gas market. One such publication in which this study was utilized is a recent editorial with the Wall Street Journal written by EDF President Fred Krupp (see December 12, 2017 edition of the WER). According to Eversource, EDF’s public assertions attributing this behavior to Eversource are unsupported by fact. Likewise, such assertions are damaging to Eversource’s reputation.
Eversource’s cease and desist letter stated that Eversource adheres to state regulations and is focused on ensuring low prices for its Massachusetts and Connecticut customers. As Eversource noted, because Eversource complies with state law prohibiting such withholding behavior, EDF’s publications are “knowingly false or in reckless disregard of easily ascertainable facts.” As a result, Eversource has acquired outside counsel to halt further publications by EDF. Through the cease and desist letter, EDF was directed to preserve all records and documents related to the EDF-sponsored study.
A copy of the cease and desist letter is available here.