Raising The Bar For Mass. Utility Mergers

Law360 (March 22, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT) -- The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (MDPU) has adopted a new standard of review for mergers involving electric and gas utilities, or their holding companies, requiring a demonstration of net benefits and consideration of the impact of the merger on greenhouse gas emissions. Interlocutory Order on Standard of Review, D.P.U. 10-170 (March 10, 2011).

The new "net benefits" standard, issued in the proceeding considering the proposed merger between NSTAR and Northeast Utilities, replaces the "no net harm" test applied by the MDPU for over 60 years. The MDPU also found that recent legislation regarding greenhouse gas emissions required the agency to...

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