Senator Tkaczyk calls for Action to Mitigate Electric Rate Hike

Cecilia Tkaczyk

June 03, 2014

 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.

Tkaczyk requested Senate Coalition Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein and Senate Energy Committee Chair George Maziarz to hold hearings on the new “Energy Capacity Zone” created by FERC for the lower Hudson Valley, which went into effect last week.  The new zone, controlled by the FERC, will increase utility rates in the lower Hudson Valley, from southern Ulster County to Westchester.

Senator Tkaczyk said FERC’s plan “will benefit residents of New York City at the expense of ratepayers in the Hudson Valley, and that is unacceptable.”

Under Senate Coalition’s rules of procedure, the Senate Democratic Conference is not allowed to hold public hearings. “I am calling on the Chair of the Committee and the Coalition leaders to hold a public hearing and examine what we can do to reverse or mitigate the impact of the new ‘Energy Capacity Zone’,” said Senator Tkaczyk.

“This Zone runs from the southern part of my district, across the Hudson, and all the way down and through Westchester County. It will affect millions of people, and appears to be happening solely for the purpose of shifting costs to these areas,” Senator Tkaczyk continued.

The text of the letter follows:  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has decided to reject the effort to reconsider the proposed new energy capacity zone for the lower Hudson Valley, allowing the plan to go into effect immediately. I write to you because time is of the essence.

The plan is expected to increase rates for residential and commercial electricity users within the zone by 6-10 percent. That will have a terribly adverse impact on our upstate economy, jobs, and the people and businesses that reside here.

I am writing to ask you to immediately bring the force of the State Senate to bear in opposing these rate increases. Hearings must be held, and the responsible decision-makers must be called upon to explain this decision. Hearings will also provide opportunities to explore the available alternatives and the ways in which the state legislature may stop or mitigate this action.

On behalf of my constituents and the many other businesses and families that will be affected by this, thank you for your consideration of this request.