McGuckin Wants to Run the Table on New Jersey Public Utilities After Storms

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TOMS RIVER-New Jersey has been hit hard this year by back-to-back-to-back damaging nor’easters and one New Jersey Assemblyman wants JCP&L to pay dearly for not restoring power quick enough after natural disasters.

McGuckin said utility companies should pay $25,000 per day for what he deemed, “poor response” in the aftermath of debilitating weather conditions.  Companies could be fined up to $2,000,000 under the McGuckin power play against the industry.

Here’s what McGuckin’s office had to say about it.

Following back-to-back nor’easters that left thousands of residents without power, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin criticized Jersey Central Power and Light’s poor response, calling upon the legislature to pass his bill increasing fines to public utilities from $100 a day to $25,000 a day.

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Gregory P. McGuckin

McGuckin’s bill, (A716/S899) reintroduced in January, was originally drafted back in 2012 as a result of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Known as the Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act of 2012, the bill requires electric utilities to submit a service reliability plan and an emergency communications strategic plan. If the BPU finds that a utility failed to follow its plan, the utility would be penalized $25,000 a day up to maximum penalty of $2 million.

“Now is the time for Governor Murphy and the legislature to stand behind this bill,” said McGuckin (R-Ocean). “Calling for an investigation is a start but what we really need is action and movement on this legislation before another storm hits our state.”

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The bill was supported by former Gov. Chris Christie following Superstorm Sandy but was not acted on in the Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly.

“If it was passed six years ago, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. The lack of infrastructure improvements by JCP&L was clearly obvious during Irene, exacerbated by Sandy, and here we are now seeing the same thing. It’s incredible,” continued McGuckin.

“JCP&L customers hold their collective breath every time the rains fall and the winds blow, because, based on their previous disastrous performances, they fear prolonged loss of power. Utility companies have an obligation to provide reliable and safe service to their customers. And we owe it our constituents to hold them accountable for failing to restore power before the next storm hits.”

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