In The Loop – May 20, 2022
Those were the days my friend – Congrats and best of luck!
This might seem an odd topic for a column but I just have to say something. This week one of my most treasured opponents in lobbying, Tom Dorsey from Eversource, turned in his blue and white badge for greener pastures. And yes I mean greener pastures—he has retired after 40 years at Eversource, with 20 of those years as their top rank and file lobbyist.
It may be odd to some, but the great lobbyists all know that what we do is not personal and it’s all about relationships and being straightforward, honest, and always respectful. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve gone vote-to-vote since 2000 when I represented out-of-state utilities in the biggest energy issue to face the region: the restructuring of the electric markets. Once a monopoly on generation, distribution, transmission, and retail, the markets exploded in 2000 into a fully competitive marketplace for generation of power and retail sales. Tom and I spent the good part of two sessions chasing legislators, Department of Energy staff, and state regulators across the state to be sure the final legislation helped to promote an open and balanced competitive market for Connecticut (while leaning a little bit in favor of our client). We traveled to town after town for public hearings, participated in forum after forum, and spent the wee hours of the session lining up votes, arguing over details of legislative language while “fighting” for our twist on the sustainability and growth of the energy markets.
While our companies certainly disagreed—and they did very often—our friendship was based on respect, fairness, a competitive spirit, and a great sense of fun. I can’t share some of the funniest moments we’ve had, since you just wouldn’t understand, but we’ve had a lot. Twenty-some-odd years later, we still had plenty of opportunities to agree to disagree and also form alliances to work together to improve the energy market, address emerging technologies, and protect our clients from the wishes of the “evil!”