Report by Paula Antolini, August 15, 2020, 10:28PM EDT
(Bethel, CT) – Republican Dan Carter on Friday again called for a debate with his opponent, freshman State Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan, who has, surprisingly, criticized Carter for voting against legislation in 2012 that would have allowed utilities such as Eversource to pass along to ratepayers the costs of reimbursing them for food or prescription medicine that spoiled as a result of an extended power outage.
At issue is a news release from Democrat Allie-Brennan, who took aim at Carter for not supporting a bill (HB 5542) he says would have required CL&P (now Eversource) to provide relief to customers who experienced a long blackout. The bill also sought to limit the amount of executive compensation that could be funded by ratepayer dollars. Allie-Brennan said the bill, which died after it made it through the Energy Committee on a party-line vote, should be resurrected by the legislature this fall.
“It’s not hard to imagine Allie-Brennan wants to bring back a bill that he thinks will score political points, but does he know it was actually killed by Democrat leaders because it would have hurt ratepayers?” said Carter, added that he’s proud—and willing to talk about—his record of defending ratepayers.
Carter explained that moments after HB 5542 passed the Energy and Technology Committee in 2012, he and his colleagues on the committee unanimously passed S.B. 23: An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response. Among the provisions, the bill set standards for the performance of utility companies, gave the Public Utilities Regulatory Agency (PURA) greater oversight over the companies, and gave PURA the power to fine utility companies up to 2.5% of their annual revenue for failing to perform. The fines could result in millions sent directly back to the ratepayers as credits to cover them for financial hardships, such as food and prescription spoilage. Most importantly, the fines were not to be recouped with higher electric rates, offering protection to ratepayers and letting shareholders bear the cost. The bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Malloy.
“I was proud to support bipartisan legislation to hold companies and CEOs accountable, put relief into the pockets of ratepayers, and accomplish so much more,” Carter said. “What we did then could be used today to hold Eversource accountable.”
Carter said Allie-Brennan consistently ranks politics and his ideology over the needs of hardworking families in the district’s four communities.
“We saw that with the recent police accountability bill that makes us all less safe, and now with Allie-Brennan’s calls to resurrect a bill that won’t actually hold anyone accountable and will raise our electric rates, continuing to make Connecticut less affordable,” he said. “We need real leadership and common sense in Hartford to deal with the failures of Eversource, PURA, and the legislature, as well as many other issues that affect the affordability of Connecticut, not more political pandering.”
“If my opponent would respond to my request for a debate, we can certainly talk more about my record,” Carter said.
“It’s pretty clear that progressive ideologue Allie-Brennan is in over his head, and his criticism that I voted against a bill that members of his own party decided would hurt ratepayers shows that he understands little about the history of this issue or the legislative process,” said Carter, who served as state representative for the 2nd Assembly District from 2011 to 2017. “I’d be happy to explain it all to Raghib in a public forum, but so far it seems as though he’s more interested in flimsy political potshots that trying to prove to his constituents that possesses the ability to lead on complex issues.”
Disclaimer: The words shown in this article are not necessarily connected to Bethel Advocate’s opinion or facts and are instead the words of Dan Carter, candidate for CT State Representative 2020.