McGuckin Pushes for Improved Storm Response

Assemblyman introduces Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act

Column as submitted by the office of Assemblyman Greg McGuckin:

Assembly Republicans Gregory McGuckin, Scott T. Rumana and Donna Simon will introduce the “Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act of 2012” to help ensure the power stays on in homes and businesses when disaster strikes.

 “Last year’s storms proved that some electric companies were not prepared to keep the power on for homes and businesses,” Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin, R-Ocean, said. “Our plan will ensure they are better prepared to respond and communicate with customers during challenging conditions. Electric companies will be accountable to ratepayers, or pay the price.”

The measure, proposed last week by Governor Christie after last year’s outages caused by Hurricane Irene and an October snowstorm, requires utilities to submit plans addressing service reliability, communications and flooding of substations. The legislation would impose greater oversight by the state Board of Public Utilities.

“The first job for a public utility is to make sure that power, a basic necessity for families and businesses, stays on,” Assembly Republican Whip Scott T. Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris, said. “Our plan reflects New Jersey’s commitment to protect ratepayers and work with utilities to improve the kind of response we experienced last year.”

The legislation would impose severe fines – which cannot be passed through to ratepayers – against electric companies that don’t comply.

“For many homeowners, last year’s storms packed a triple punch: the storm, the outage and then days of broken promises and inaccurate information that their power would be turned back on,” Assemblywoman Donna Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, said. “Although nature is unpredictable, we can improve preparedness and hold electric companies accountable to the families and businesses they serve.”

The legislation, which will be formally introduced this month, will also be sponsored by Assembly Republicans Erik Peterson, R-Hunterdon, Warren and Somerset, and Amy H. Handlin, R-Monmouth.

So Much to Say September 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM
"The legislation would impose severe fines – which cannot be passed through to ratepayers – against electric companies that don’t comply." Cannot be passed on to ratepayer.....yea right.... The utility companies did a wonderful job, why bust their chops and cost us ratepayers more. STUPID!!!!!
Project Bluebeam September 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
The answer is a simply yet pricey one. Move the power lines underground. Look at Leisure Village and parts of Holiday City. The exception being blown transformers. Sadly, you can't legislate intelligence. Some people simply refuse to prepare and rely too much on the nanny state.
Mac September 15, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I can't wait for my electric bill to substantially increase so the electric company can replace all their equipment with unnecessary and expensive storm repelling improvements to avoid eating unrealistic fines. They might not be able to pass the fines on to us, but they most certainly can pass the cost of remodeling on to us. As a rule of thumb, the geography of the location has more to do with unstable public services we sometimes experience in foul weather than irresponsible utility service. If we are allowed to fine the utilities for slow response time to emergencies by second guessing them like Monday morning quarterbacks, can they sue us for delays attributed by them as slow public government services that delay them from being able to get to their equipment due to flooding, downed trees, suspect bridge crossing, etc., etc. It’s certainly not a job to die for. And in all fairness, the longer it takes a utility to reach a troubled area and the longer the equipment remains damaged, the more likely additional problems will be created, and the more likely it is going to cost substantially more to repair them all. As for those promoting this circus act, stop trying to placate us with basic BS101 and start dealing with our real problems as you were elected to do. That is possible, correct?
gogo September 15, 2012 at 09:02 PM
stupid?You need to justive your job.
ThanksForComingOut September 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I agree with them most likely putting that expense on us. But I wouldn't go as far to say they did a wonderful job. JCP&L vs PSE&G? We all know who dropped the ball. I had no power for 5 days after Irene. Come on now, that shouldn't be happening in 2011. They get funded more money from the state in events like this. They kept power out on purpose. The "cut it and run" philosophy was adopted. If its live just cut the line and move on. They were told not to restore power. This was told to me by a JCP&L worker. They did a terrible job and will most likely continue to do so
the phantom September 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Did you pay your taxes yet moron. Another stupid idea by a Gilmore crony
Walso September 15, 2012 at 11:53 PM
LMAO. Very old news. He is an NJ State Assemblyman now and you are a troll posting on a forum. That tax thing had no leg's , cause look at where he is now.
SB Girl September 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM
How about doing something that informs the public of what is going on during a storm? Toms River did a pitiful job during Irene...after the reverse 911 call to tell people to evacuate, we heard nothing...isn't that what the Emergency Management group is supposed to do? If it wasn't for Chief Mastronardy answering calls while he was out of town, we wouldn't have had any idea of what was going on and when we could go back...In Barnegat, where I evacuated to, I had emails coming every couple of hours with updates as to what areas to avoid, what was going on, where the emergency shelters were. Granted, if your power is out and you don't have a smart phone, email wouldn't help...but reverse 911 messages would get through to those who still have land lines or working cell phones.
. September 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Last year, they advised us how we must have batteries and a radio, but WOBM, which is the local station gave no information at all. When you are without power, you can't find out anything if the radio station gives no information.
Project Bluebeam September 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM
WOBM was horrible after Irene. All I heard was music. I got more info from NJ 101.5 and WCBS in NY. I can remember back in the 70's when they gave comprehensive coverage during and after storms.


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