Group seeks access to energy planning documents

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm •  Published: July 14, 2014
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Conservation Law Foundation is asking for access to more documents about energy plans in New England that the group says are shrouded in secrecy.

The July 9 public records request of the Vermont Public Service Department and the governor's office seeks copies of records related to electric system transmission, gas pipeline capacity and electricity imports from Canada.

"The public has a right to see the analysis behind the development of these plans," Conservation Law Foundation Senior Attorney Sandra Levine said.

The foundation received some documents from its initial requests filed in March but Vermont withheld others based on executive privilege protections, which are reserved for high-ranking officials.

Levine said that while the state promptly responded to the request, the group remains concerned because it doesn't know the specifics of the documents that were withheld.

The documents released so far, the foundation says, prove the states and the New England States Committee on Electricity are working out details on energy distribution in secret and "self-interested industry insiders" are shaping the plans.

But department Commissioner Chris Recchia says the foundation's conclusions aren't a "fair criticism."

"I think CLF thinks decisions are farther along than they really are," Recchia said.

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