Groups are blasting an announcement yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo to invest $650 million in an uneconomic fossil fuel plant in Dunkirk, NY foregoing a far cheaper and cleaner option to invest in transmission line upgrades that would help bring renewable energy sources onto New York’s electric grid.
The announcement comes in the midst of an ongoing Public Service Commission proceeding, intended to study the environmental and rate impacts of the proposal.
The following are statements from groups involved in the PSC proceeding:
“Yesterday, the Governor announced a $650 million backroom deal that committed New York to the continued, unnecessary burning of polluting fossil fuels at the Dunkirk plant. The governor’s announcement short-circuited the ongoing public proceeding that is supposed to be considering the rate and environmental impacts of the continued operation of the plant. In doing so, he ignored thousands of public comments opposing this proposal and missed an opportunity to invest in transmission line upgrades that would have helped bring renewable energy sources into New York’s power grid. This is a huge setback for New York’s green energy efforts and saddles New Yorkers with hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidy pay-outs to the fossil fuel industry. Governor Cuomo is the Grinch who stole New York’s green energy future,” said Earthjustice attorney Christopher Amato.
“The Governor has abandoned his goal of making New York a green energy leader. In a backroom deal that bypassed proper public process, the governor handed the fossil fuel industry a $650 million dollar bailout to build a power plant that isn’t needed because western New York already has a surplus of energy capacity. Just one short year after Superstorm Sandy, the governor has chosen to pump millions of tons more carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere while burning fracked gas for the next 10 years. The planet is on fire and Cuomo’s reckless decision just added more fossil fuel to the flame,” said Irene Weiser, Town of Caroline Councilmember and co-representative of Ratepayer and Community Intervenors.