black spots in the governor’s vision for the state’s energy future | News, Sports, Jobs
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has now presented one of the most ambitious public policy proposals of her administration to date, and in doing so, has given us all a great insight into her administration’s vision to meet one of our state’s most pressing short- and long-term issues. challenges in the long term: energy.
With that in mind, it’s fair to say at this point that the Hochul administration is squarely following in the footsteps of the Cuomo administration – which only raises serious and troubling questions for energy consumers in the northern state of New York (i.e. we the taxpayers), businesses (especially manufacturers) and communities who will be asked to bear a heavy burden for the cost of subsidizing New York City, energy demands from the bottom of the state.
Governor Hochul has taken the reins of a Cuomo-generated renewable energy strategy already underway and has now advanced specific projects to achieve his far-reaching goal of expanding the state’s energy grid through significant expansion. wind, solar and hydroelectric projects.
Overall, the goal remains to meet at least 70% of the state’s energy needs through renewable energy sources by 2030.
The statewide goal remains laudable, but utopian. As a long-time member of the Energy Committees in the Senate and the Assembly, I have said and continue to fully agree that New York State should lead the way in the development of renewable energies, and we are.
At the same time, I continue to insist that this must be done in a way that ensures our residents and businesses have the energy they need right now to live and thrive in New York City – and, j ” will add, that every step is taken to ensure that New York-based businesses, entrepreneurs, producers and investors are always on the front lines when it comes to jobs, income and other benefits. of economic development promised by the state’s leap into the so-called “green economy.”
Therefore, Governor Hochul’s announcement last week exposed troubling directions and a pipeline full of unanswered questions.
Unveiling the cornerstones of his plans, Governor Hochul said: âThese transformative projects are win-win: they create thousands of new, well-paying jobs statewide and attract billions of dollars in private investment. They are also helping us turn the page on New York City’s long-standing dependence on fossil fuels. “
It could have been a “win-win” to write home, except Governor Hochul gifted New York State one of those victories.
Exhibit A is one of the plan’s flagship proposals, the Canada-based Champlain Hudson Power Express. It provides for a nearly 340-mile underground cable span, crossing land and water, to bring Canadian hydroelectricity and wind power from Hydro-Quebec to a power plant in Queens, New York.
First, the plan does not detail the costs of what can only be described as a massive and complex undertaking or, more importantly, the extent to which taxpayers statewide will be required to cover those costs by higher utility bills.
Affordability appears to be a completely overlooked factor in Governor Hochul’s choice of these transmission projects. The other approved project, Clear Path, is to be built at 174 miles “underground,” a requirement that will prudently increase the cost by 10 to 20 times.
Equally puzzling, why is New York State giving Canada a marquee green power project that could help create thousands of good jobs and spur economic development in many northern northern communities? State ? Why give up this victory? Believe me, there are a lot of private sector producers based in New York State more than keen on an opportunity like this.
In fact, the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express completely bypasses upstate New York. There is not even an interconnection converter station in the upstate to allow utilities in the upstate to tap into this supply, nor for power generators in the north of the state. State to use this energy highway to bring electricity produced by the State of New York to the markets in the lower state that need it. The lack of a junction requirement in the north of the state perpetuates a bottleneck that has existed for far too long and is too dependent on foreign power. In addition, it does not allow another source of energy needed in the event of a potential drought in Canada, thus eliminating this supply. New York’s Independent Power Producers (IPPNY) reacted to the proposed outsourcing of jobs, sky-high costs and bypassing state generators in a statement.
IPPNY President and CEO Gavin J. Donohue said: âIn addition to its high price, the Champlain Hudson line has long raised concerns about outsourcing jobs to New York and lackluster emission reductions due to ‘greenwashing’. While the state’s process will ultimately verify the source of the electricity on the line, giving that opportunity to a Canadian company rather than the New York generators that have stepped in time and time again is a mistake.
Last week, Governor Hochul reinforced for all of us a vision for the future of energy in New York State that leaves many of us questioning its practicality, cost and fairness, especially for upstate New York.
It is a vision we can never afford to have guided by political goals taking precedence over how best to keep the lights on for all New Yorkers in the most practical, cost-effective, way. smarter and fairer.
Thomas O’Mara represents the 58th District of the State Senate. Its district office is in Elmira.