Urge LIPA to Delay Vote on National Grid Renewal & Nominate Permanent CEO, Will Hold Hearings on LIPA’s Storm Response
Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset), Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), a member of the Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications Committee, are insisting that the renewal of National Grid’s contract with LIPA be postponed until after a review of the utility and the appointment of a new permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“There have been many complaints from local government officials as well as residents and businesses about the lack of communication and the response from LIPA and National Grid following tropical storm Irene,” said Senator Marcellino. “It has been a week since the storm and power outages are still rampant, that is unacceptable especially for children and the elderly. National Grid must do better if they want to do business in the State of New York.”
“Any decision about LIPA’s future with National Grid should be postponed until after there has been a thorough review of their Hurricane Irene response, which quite frankly has been inexcusable. Ratepayers who pay some of the highest utility costs in the country deserve to have the best service possible, which they did not get during this storm. LIPA should delay voting on renewing its agreement with National Grid until after this review has been conducted,” said Senator Fuschillo.
LIPA currently has a contract with National Grid to manage its day to day operations. That contract is set to expire in 2013.
To initiate the review Senator Carl L. Marcellino said that the Investigations and Government Operations Committee will be holding a public hearing September 22nd at 9:45 am at the Nassau County Legislative Office Building, 1550 Franklin Ave, Mineola. The hearing will look at the strategies and policies that govern LIPA’s storm preparation and restoration and examine the industry standards, best practices and post-event analysis of the utility.
“While LIPA’s preparedness systems were definitely put to the test, they fell short. While I commend our emergency responders and law enforcement officials for working hard to meet the needs of Long Islanders this week, it is clear that we must take a closer look at LIPA’s response and determine if they are truly prepared for a major hurricane. We have had more than enough opportunities to prepare and practice for a big storm, so we would like to ask these experts what went wrong,” said Senators Marcellino and Fuschillo.
Senators Fuschillo and Marcellino called on LIPA’s Board of Trustees to submit a nomination for a new permanent CEO to the Senate Energy Committee. LIPA has been without a permanent CEO for nearly a year.
“Choosing a new permanent CEO needs to be a top priority for LIPA’s Board of Trustees. It’s absurd that they have allowed one of the nation’s biggest utilities, which serves over 1.1 million people, to be left without a permanent CEO for nearly a year. Given the numerous issues facing LIPA, the Board should immediately submit a nomination to the Senate’s Energy Committee so we can begin the confirmation process,” said Senator Fuschillo and Marcellino.