The Hartford Courant
By: Brian Dowling
January 12, 2015
he state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority so badly wants a divorce from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. But it won’t be easy to get one.
The authority’s three commissioners, all appointed by the Malloy administration, say they have seen “improper and destructive conduct” as well as an “insurmountable conflict of interest” in the three-year marriage, which the governor arranged as an effort to streamline state government and sharpen Connecticut’s energy policy.
In a strongly worded letter to three top Malloy aides, the commissioners conclude that the rare and previously untested idea of having a court-like regulatory agency under an administrative agency has been a failure that “no amount of good will can cure.”
Art House, chairman of the regulatory body and lead author of the letter, said that during the merged offices’ short time together, administration officials have halted regulatory decisions, called meetings with energy companies to negotiate the outcome of rate cases and held up the regulators’ requests for new hires.
“The only people who defend this system are the people who set this up in the first place,” House said in a recent interview.
“We are a court, and one of the people who automatically comes before us is our boss,” House said, referring to the head of DEEP. “What does not work is having someone who is a party to our cases setting our budget, controlling our personnel.” For full article.