Department of Energy Says It Didn't Mean To Make All Northern Pass Commenters Anonymous

Jun 27, 2012

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy says the names of people who commented - for and against the Northern Pass project – were inadvertently removed from the agency web site.

Originally most of the 1,700 people who commented had their names and towns included.

But recently that information was removed, replaced with a note saying:

“The comment information presented below has had the personal information obfuscated for privacy as requested by the original author.”

Asked about the change Niketa Kumar, a spokeswoman for the federal agency, said the information was removed by mistake.

She said some of those who commented have asked that their identities be concealed and the agency complies with such requests. 

But she said one office at the DOE mistakenly told a new contractor redesigning the web site that all the identifying information for all those who commented should be removed.

"It is certainly a mistake," she said.

She said the information was being restored.

The missing information was originally noted by Bob Baker, a lawyer from Columbia who opposes the Northern Pass.