Senator O'Brien speaks out against plan to increase energy costs for upstate ratepayers

 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien and business leaders stood together today to send a clear message that upstate homeowners and small businesses should not be forced to pay $200 million to replace a downstate power plant that is of no benefit to local energy consumers.

Senator O’Brien rallied with business leaders after the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to accelerate the approval process for a plan proposed by Consolidated Edison and the New York Power Authority that would place much of the cost of closing the Indian Point Power Plant in Westchester County on upstate residents.  The PSC’s decision to issue a request for proposals for the next phase of the disputed plan came before the end of the public comment period, which was extended to today, April 5th.

“We’re fighting to revitalize our local economy by reducing the tax burden on middle class families and empowering our small businesses to create new jobs,” Senator O’Brien said.  “Now the PSC is moving ahead with a plan that will halt our progress by adding a hidden tax on upstate communities for a project that only benefits downstate ratepayers. I am concerned that the commission is ramming this proposal through without proper consideration of whether a tremendous cost burden should be allocated to upstate ratepayers when upstate communities do not benefit from energy produced at Indian Point.”

Senator O’Brien urged the commission to revise its plan for a potential shutdown of Indian Point in a way that does not negatively impact upstate residents.  Additional energy costs could kill upstate jobs, and O’Brien called for the commission to reject this unfair and ill-advised plan.

Senator O’Brien said that as far as he was aware of, this was the first time the state as a whole had ever been expected to pay for a project that would benefit only a limited geographical area.

“Middle class families and small businesses in our communities are being squeezed by high taxes, and forcing upstate residents to pick up the tab for closing Indian Point is simply a tax hike by another name,” O’Brien continued.  “We have a lot of work to do to create jobs in our region and get our local economy moving again, and this plan runs entirely contrary to that effort.”

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Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

Media contact:

Thomas J. Morrisey
Communications Director
office:   (585) 223-1800
e-mail:  tjmorris@nysenate.gov