Home > posts > N.Y. State Senator Flanagan Fights Gov. Cuomo’s Crony Capitalist Green Energy Subsidy Boondoggle
June 16th, 2017 12:32 pm
N.Y. State Senator Flanagan Fights Gov. Cuomo’s Crony Capitalist Green Energy Subsidy Boondoggle
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

There’s additional reason for optimism amid the ongoing battle against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s crony-capitalist green energy subsidy boondoggle that CFIF has been monitoring since last summer.

Cuomo’s “Clean Energy Standard” (CES) scheme mandates that fully half of all state energy be generated by carbon-neutral plants in just over a decade.  Alarmingly, it comes at a cost of $1 billion in just its first two years, and $8 billion over its entire term.  Making matters worse, it amounts to crony capitalism because all of the CES subsidies would go to a single company named Exelon, owner of the financially unsustainable upstate nuclear plants.  And conspicuously, the plan was approved by a Power Service Commission (PSC) composed entirely of members selected by Cuomo.

Opposition to the boondoggle is bipartisan, and even environmental groups have attacked it as an “$8 billion bailout of three upstate nuclear power plants.”

And who would pay?  New York consumers.

But now, Republican state senator John Flanagan has proposed an alternative funding mechanism, one that would spare pressed taxpayers from paying through the nose to sustain failing nuclear energy plants at the center of the controversial program, as reported by Politico:

‘The state already devotes substantial resources to clean energy, and we are supporting of many of those initiatives,’ said Flanagan spokesman Scott Reif.  ’We believe that this can be funded through existing resources, and not on the backs of ratepayers.’

Flanagan’s proposal retains the subsidy for nuclear plants, which has strong support from upstate members of his conference who represent districts in which the plants are located.  At the same time, it lessens the impact on ratepayers of the subsidy, including those in Flanagan’s district on Long Island who are still paying for the shuttered Shoreham nuclear plant.

It would also gut a key part of Cuomo’s ambitious renewable energy plan, of which the nuclear subsidy is a component.  Cuomo officials have touted the subsidy, which pays the owner of the nuclear plants based on the social cost of carbon avoided by the zero-emissions attribute of the plants, as a bridge to renewable energy sources, ensuring that the plants aren’t replaced with fossil fuel generators.

Flanagan’s measure eliminates that portion of the Clean Energy Standard and requires ratepayers to get a refund.”

CFIF applauds Flanagan’s leadership in highlighting how Cuomo’s Solyndra-like green energy bailout is a costly loser for New York state ratepayers.  Now it’s up to both the New York House and Senate to resolve this matter before its session ends next week.

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