AT ISSUE: Governor needs to follow through and get a policy in place.
There is little dispute that the energy needs of New York City are increasing. There is, however, major dispute over a plan to meet those needs by cutting an ugly swath through Upstate New York.
That problem – and future controversies – can best be addressed by New York state developing a comprehensive energy policy that doesn’t help one part of the BE INVOLVED The development of the comprehensive energy plan is being directed by the State Energy Planning Board.
Part of the process includes input from the public.
You may make comments online by accessing the Web site at www.nysenergyplan.com/process.html.
You also can mail comments before July 8 to: SEP Comments, New York State Research and Development Authority, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399.
A draft plan is scheduled to be released by March 31, 2009, followed by a series of statewide public hearings on that plan during April and May 2009.
The public can comment on the plan by May 15, 2009, with a final energy plan due one year from now — June 30, 2009. state at the expense of another.
It was just two years ago that New York Regional Interconnect proposed building a 1,200-megawatt power line from Marcy to Orange County to meet growing energy needs downstate. Locally, the line would run through communities including South Utica, the town of New Hartford, Clayville, Cassville and Waterville.
The battle has been fierce. NYRI has spent millions of dollars so far and is likely to spend much more to secure approval. It’s most recent application was deemed insufficient again by the state’s Public Service Commission.
A comprehensive energy policy could alleviate such battles. That’s the idea behind Gov. David Paterson’s executive order issued in April, whereby he directed the creation of a State Energy Plan “to determine (the state’s) future energy needs and facilitate a deliberate, efficient and cost-effective means of meeting those needs.”
The plan will be crafted by an Energy Planning Board, which will study things ranging from costs, continued reliance on imported fuels, aging energy infrastructure and climate change as they relate to future needs. The panel will then make recommendations that will assure New Yorkers be provided with reliable, economical and clean energy sources.
An energy policy is overdue. The old one expired Jan. 1, 2003, and lack of a policy is one reason why our community now faces the NYRI threat. Paul DeCotis, state deputy secretary for energy and the chairman of the new planning board, has said any future policy would not have a direct effect on NYRI’s proposal. But as Mike Steiger of the Upstate New York Citizens Alliance says, an energy policy will provide a plan so that another NYRI doesn’t come along after this.
In the wider scheme of things, a firm energy policy that makes sure steps are taken to address this state’s future energy needs will help all the people of the state. Gov. Paterson has initiated the plan. Now he needs to follow through.
- Utica Observer Dispatch