Powering New York's Future Is A Promise Kept

September 22, 2009

Today the Legislature is announcing a series of open regional hearings and rountables seeking a long term approach to using low cost power to create and sustain jobs across the Empire State. These joint bipartisan events of both the Senate and the Assembly are the result of a promise by the Legislature to reform the state’s energy policy, its authorities, and our economy.

Senators and members of the Assembly will conduct these hearings and hold more roundtable discussions to collect input from businesses, trade groups and the public that will help shape legislation and policy to best use the resources of the New York Power Authority. The goal is to keep hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers employed and provide much needed new jobs.

“Today we are kicking off a statewide conversation about the future of economic development here in New York State and the best way to use low cost power to create and sustain good paying jobs for hard working New Yorkers,” said Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “When we put together the extension on Power for Jobs, we promised to include business leaders in the discussion and create a long term plan for not only this program, but all economic development tools that use low cost power to preserve and create jobs. We need to build on the success we’ve had with these programs. The ideas, concerns and opinions we collect will help power New York’s future to rebuild our economy.”

The legislators will listen to business leaders, including from companies in the programs and others not receiving benefits at this time, trade groups, advocates and the general public to better understand the value of these programs and consider new ideas to improve and reform these programs to retain existing jobs, attract new investment from new employers, and build new careers in New York. Input received in the hearings will be used along with legislative analysis of NYPA’s performance, to craft a new long term low-cost power economic development program.

“With the input we collect, we will be able to better suit these programs to attract vital new industries and retain jobs both Upstate and throughout New York’s communities,” Sen. Aubertine said. “Businesses need the certainty of a long term solution and we intend to provide that peace of mind along with an open process where we will hear all points of view and power our state’s economic future.”

The first hearing will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Niagara Falls Town Hall, Room 116, 745 Main St. For those not able to attend these hearings in person, they will be streamed and archived at NYSenate.gov/media.

Developing a long term approach to these issues is a significant undertaking and we want to hear from all New Yorkers as we move forward. We hope you will be able to attend these hearings or follow them online. We want to know your thoughts and we encourage you to chime in here as well.

What do you think? We're listening.