Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) today sat as a member of the Joint Conference Committee on Energy to discuss differences between the Senate and Assembly legislation passed by both Houses to reauthorize Article X power plant siting legislation. As the Chairman of the historic Committee on Joint Conference Committees, Senator Alesi was selected by Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno to sit as a member of this panel to negotiate an agreed upon version of the bill before the end of the 2007 legislative session on June 21.
"New York has the unfortunate distinction of being home to the highest energy rates in the nation with no plan in sight to lower those costs," said Senator Alesi. "As Chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, I have a deeply vested interest in seeing that any agreed upon legislation helps businesses to receive low cost energy while also reducing the cost to the residential consumer. The goal of any compromised legislation should be to site power plants throughout the State in balance with the environment as well as meeting the increasing demands for energy with a diligent approach to health concerns such as asthma."
As Chairman of the Committee on Joint Conference Committees, Senator Alesi along with the other members of the panel, recommended to the legislative leaders that Article X legislation be negotiated by the Joint Committee on Energy. Senator Alesi has long advocated for using conference committees to break the gridlock in Albany that too often allows good legislation to die in committee without consideration by the entire Legislature.
"In the past, when we have utilized joint conference committees, the Legislature has been able to come to consensus on bills that otherwise would not have been signed into law," said Senator Alesi. "By allowing members of both Houses to discuss the issues openly and publicly, it allows free flowing dialogue that addresses concerns and often, produces results. We have 11 scheduled session days left to use these joint conference committees to push forward an agenda of critical issues that will improve the quality of life and ease financial burdens for the taxpayer."
Alesi was a member of the historic "Power for Jobs" conference committee that resulted in an agreement to create a low cost energy pool for manufacturers and other energy dependent New York businesses.
The Joint Conference Committee on Energy will meet Tuesday, June 5.