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Former Gov. Richard J. Codey, a state senator from Essex County. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Codey tells BPU to hold hearing on JCP&L power issues

By David Wildstein, August 11 2020 10:51 am

State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Roseland) wants the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to haul JCP&L executive in for a hearing to learn more about storm resiliency deficiencies and slow restoration schedule following Tropical Storm Isaias.

Codey, who served as governor of New Jersey from 2004 to 2006, wants JCP&L to set hard deadlines for the power company to meet goals for improvements going forward.

“After Superstorm Sandy, we worked with all of our utilities to focus on upgrades to technology and communication in order to get customers back online as quickly as possible and provide them with updates,” said Codey. “We all thought this would never happen again, especially with JCP&L, but it has. If JCP&L cannot adequately meet the needs of their service territory, they should face revocation of their franchise.”

According to Codey, JCP&L has performed the worst of any electricity provider in New Jersey.

“We all know it is only a matter of time before we face another big storm and we can’t have a repeat of this performance,” Codey said.  “Once the BPU has the needed information, they must set goals for the utilities with real deadlines that must be met.”

Last week, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced that two committees would hold a hearing to scrutinize the response of utility companies to massive power outages.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of New Jersey families are staying home as a matter of health and safety,” Coughlin said. “Many residents have nowhere else to go during the public health crisis. It is intolerable that many of them are now living in their homes without power. They can’t charge their phones or computers. They have no air conditioning. Their refrigerators are not running. In the year 2020, residents suffering through such a lengthy power outage is unsatisfactory to say the least.”

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