Issues: Energy

Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014

Confirmed Nominees for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Sherburne B. Abbott of Cazenovia

Kenneth D. Daly of Manhasset

John McAvoy of Brewster

Elizabeth W. Thorndike of Pittsford

Mark A. Willis of Manhattan

Charles Bell of Ossining

Jay Koh of Manhattan

Jigar Shah of Manhattan

June 17, 2014

Sen. Maziarz to PSC: Return Ratepayer Money Immediately

Senator George Maziarz (R-I-C, Newfane), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, expressed outrage and disbelief at the revelations from yesterday’s meeting of the Public Service Commission (PSC) suggesting that the commission has failed to properly monitor the collection of taxes from the onerous 18-a surcharge, allowing ratepayers to be overcharged by $250 million.

June 13, 2014

Senator Young Cheers Announcement of PSC Approval to Repower NRG Dunkirk

For Release: Immediate, June 12, 2012

Public Service Commission Approves Repowering Proposal

ALBANY – Citing the “quadfecta of benefits,” PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman led the unanimous Public Service Commissioners’ vote of approval today to repower the coal-fired Dunkirk NRG plant into a clean, environmentally-friendly 435 megawatt natural gas facility.

The project’s green light by the regulatory agency caps a several year long struggle to gain support to save the generator from closing.

June 12, 2014


State Senator Patty Ritchie beat back a challenge by downstate nuclear power opponents and won final legislative passage of her bill allowing Oswego County to continue to negotiate tax agreements with the operators of three nuclear power plants, helping to stabilize local government finances and protect jobs at some of the region’s biggest employers.

June 11, 2014

Daily Mail: Tkaczyk urges Senate to oppose wholesale energy pricing plan

June 11, 2014 1:15 am

By Kyle Adams Columbia-Greene Media |

 CATSKILL — In a letter last week, New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk urged senate leaders to take action against a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that is raising utility rates in the Hudson Valley this month.

The decision, made in August 2013, created a “new capacity zone” for wholesale energy pricing that groups Hudson Valley counties, including Greene, with New York City counties. The change took effect May 1 and is expected to raise local electric prices by six to 10 percent a year, according to a press release from Tkaczyk’s office.

June 11, 2014

Senate Passes Tax Relief Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed seven bills that would provide tax relief to businesses, expand exemptions from the job-killing MTA payroll tax, encourage historic preservation projects, reduce energy taxes, protect forestland, and provide tax benefits to disabled veterans, as well as teachers who purchase school supplies. “Providing additional tax relief to encourage job creation is an end-of-session priority for Senate Republicans,” Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos said.  “The measures we passed today build on the major tax relief initiatives Senate Republicans successfully fought for in the state budget to help make small businesses and manufacturers more competitive.” The bills approved by the Senate today include the following measures:

June 10, 2014

Times Union: Empower users with advocate

Times Union Commentary By Derrick Holmes

Monday, June 9, 2014

 Still reeling from huge spikes in their utility bills this past winter and already facing the highest average residential electric rates in the continental United States, New Yorkers don't believe there's anything they can do about the seemingly endless increase in the cost of energy.

They're feeling that strain in their kitchen table economies.

They don't think they're adequately represented when utility companies push for rate hikes.

And they don't think their elected officials are doing enough to keep utility costs from spiraling ever upward.

June 10, 2014

Senator Tkaczyk calls for Action to Mitigate Electric Rate Hike

 State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has called on Senate leaders to “bring the force of the State Senate to bear” to mitigate a recent decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which will increase utility rates in the lower Hudson Valley by six to 10 percent a year.

June 3, 2014


Electeds, Community Continue Push for Added Energy Efficiency at Gateway

NEW YORK—Today, after advocacy efforts by Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilmember Margaret Chin, and the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association (GPTA),  Gateway Residential Management LLC announced plans to replace the remaining 3,100 individual packaged terminal air conditioners which provide cooling and heating to apartments at Gateway Plaza.  Gateway Residential Management has also pledged to upgrade the 1,700 electrical sub meters, used to measure tenant electricity use, which have not been replaced since the construction of the 33-year-old building. Gateway Plaza residents were forced to endure freezing conditions and sky-high electric bills this past winter.

June 2, 2014

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Actions Hurting Hudson Valley Ratepayers

ALBANY, NY – New York State Senators Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam), George Latimer (D-Rye) and Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-Duanesburg) today urged Governor Cuomo to issue an executive order to protect Hudson Valley families and businesses from increased energy costs. The senators asked that the Governor direct the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to use funds from the System Benefits Charge (SBC) to mitigate the rate increase from the federally mandated energy capacity zone.

May 30, 2014

Committee Meeting: Energy and Telecommunications Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications  Senator George D. Maziarz, Chair  10:00 AM, Wednesday, May 28, 2014  Room 709 LOB

May 28, 10:00 AM - 10:04 AM

Senator Gianaris Announces Major Step Forward in Poletti Power Plant Deconstruction

 (Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris took pride in announcing a major step forward in the deconstruction of the Charles Poletti Power Plant in Astoria. For the first time in recent memory, smokestacks have been eliminated from western Queens after the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has removed the second of the power plant’s two smokestacks, as deconstruction of the entire facility continues. The deconstruction of the aging, inefficient and less clean power plant, which used outdated technology from the 1970s, is the result of an agreement between the community and NYPA reached after years of tireless work by Senator Gianaris, Queens leaders and community groups.

“The smokestacks of the Poletti power plant were symbols of the pollution that haunted our neighborhood for too long, and I am happy to see them go,” said Senator Gianaris. “The progress we have made improving our air quality is a key reason so many New Yorkers are coming to western Queens to live and work. More remains to be done in terms of rooting out pollution, but the deconstruction of the Poletti plant is a major milestone in taking our neighborhoods from being plagued by smokestacks to the family-friendly communities full of green space and parks to which we aspire.”

May 19, 2014

National Fuel customers in WNY to enjoy rate freeze

Today the Public Service Commission approved a joint proposal that includes a rate freeze for Western New York customers of the National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation starting immediately through September 30, 2015. The customer-friendly joint proposal also requires the utility to refund $5.5 million to customers and provide $2 million to fund home-weatherization projects and a furnace replacement program for low-income customers in the Buffalo region.

May 8, 2014

"Your Voice" with Senator Griffo

On this week's episode, Senator Griffo breaks down the budget - taxes, spending, education, Common Core, higher ed, health care, agriculture, transporation and ethics.

With I Love My Parks Day upcoming, Griffo explains what state legislators are doing for the environment and for state parks. And finally, the senator recaps a forum on heroin and opioid abuse that he recently hosted in Utica.

"Your Voice" is hosted by Julia Lilkendey.


April 29, 2014

Committee Meeting: Energy and Telecommunications Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications Senator George D. Maziarz, Chair 1:30 PM, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Room 709 LOB

April 29, 1:30 PM - 1:38 PM

Maziarz and Ceretto work to protect public health in Wheatfield and beyond; Legislators call for the revocation of DEC permits for Quasar

State Sen. George Maziarz (R,C,I-Newfane) and Assemblyman John Ceretto (R,C,I-Lewiston) are working to protect the health of Wheatfield residents and the surrounding communities by asking the DEC to revoke permits that allow the Quasar Energy Group to dump an industrial byproduct called equate on land in Western New York. Residents have raised serious concerns about the practice and their voices need to be taken into consideration. Ceretto has joined with State Sen.

April 9, 2014

OP-ED FROM SENATOR MAZIARZ: What can you do to lower utility bill? Consider an ESCO.

While this bitter winter is hopefully behind us, there is no doubt that one of its most harmful effects still lingers—high energy bills.

April 8, 2014

Senator Maziarz meets with Thurman Thomas and others to discuss solar energy

Senator George Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, met this morning in his district office with Thurman Thomas, John Mariacher, and Stephen Lynch about some exciting solar energy projects in the works.  The Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame running back has a real interest in helping people lower their bills and promoting renewable resources.  We look forward to good things to come and great partnerships!

April 4, 2014
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