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AARP Speaks out on Vermont Gas System Pipeline Cost Overrun: Are Regulators Watching out for Ratepayers?

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“Today we learned of yet another significant cost overrun on the Vermont Gas Systems Phase 1 pipeline project to the tune of $33 million. This comes on top of a $35 million increase announced this summer. AARP Vermont is calling on Vermont’s Dept. of Public Service and the Public Service Board to give close scrutiny to today’s announcement since it is current ratepayers in Chittenden and Franklin Counties that will be footing the bill. The public deserves to know what the additional costs are, how they are being justified, and if the project is still viable given that the projected cost has now gone from $86 million to $154 million in just a matter of months. The Department should also ask the utility to provide reliable and well documented projections on what the final costs will actually be, in order to make an informed recommendation to the Public Service Board on reopening the certificate of public good process. Current ratepayers – especially seniors – should not be expected to absorb ever rising costs for a multi-million project that will provide them no real benefit. Consumers need to be protected and if this overrun goes through it is a glaring example of how broken our regulatory system has become.”

-- Greg Marchildon, State Director AARP Vermont

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