Albany, NY – In less than one week New Yorkers will see their electric utility bills jump under a plan advanced by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The plan will result in ConEd ratepayers paying hundreds of millions of dollars in extra surcharges over the next 12 years. Senator Avella continues to urge his fellow New Yorkers to contact the Governor and ask him to reject the PSC’s plan.
The rate hike is to bail out aging nuclear power plants operating on Lake Ontario in upstate New York. Some of the plants were built in the 1960s and are among the oldest in the world. In fact, had it not been for the PSC’s proposed multibillion-dollar bailout, at least one of the plants was scheduled to be shut down, having outlived its expected lifespan.
The bailouts were announced by the PSC as part of the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which calls for 50 percent of the state’s energy to be renewable by the year 2030.
The rate hike plan was hatched almost completely out of public view. After months of deliberations during which the PSC publicly estimated the cost of the bailout to be in the tens of millions of dollars, in mid-summer of 2016 the PSC suddenly and dramatically jacked up the price, which is now expected to be at least $2.8 billion.
Not only did the PSC pull a classic “bait and switch” with the price, they then hurried through the more-expensive bailout deal a few weeks later, during the dog days of summer. During that time, no public hearings were held and both the Legislature and the public were largely cut out of the decision-making process.
Senator Avella is advancing legislation (S4800A) that would force New York State regulators to hit the “pause” button to allow for a thorough public review of the deal as well as to grant the public – the people who will pay the additional billions of dollars – the opportunity to have their voices heard.
“I am in total support of the Governor’s goal to reduce, if not eliminate the use of fossil fuels in New York. However, I am opposed to the way this program is being rolled out by PSC. Taxpayers are being asked to bail out power plants in the form of billions of dollars yet we aren’t even sure how our money will be spent or what other options we have,” said Senator Avella.
“I urge my fellow New Yorkers to contact the Governor and let him know that they find the PSC’s plan unfair and poorly thought out. It is unreasonable that the PSC is taxing residents across the state to keep open failing power plants that might not even help reach our goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030,” added Senator Avella.
New Yorkers can contact Governor Cuomo’s office at the following addresses:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224