Since last summer, we at CFIF have sounded the alarm regarding a crony capitalist “green” energy boondoggle forced upon New York state residents by Governor Andrew Cuomo and a power commission staffed entirely by his appointees.
The plan imposes an artificial mandate that 50% of all New York power be generated by carbon-free plants in just over a decade, and will cost taxpayers and businesses $1 billion in just its first two years of operation, as well as $8 billion over the course of the scheme. Making matters worse, the subsidies generated will go to a single company named Exelon that owns all three struggling upstate nuclear plants that will benefit. Obviously, New York consumers and businesses will pay those costs, which has led even left-leaning environmental leaders to oppose the plan. Governor Cuomo’s scheme is also the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause and its supremacy clause.
In today’s New York Post, state senator Tony Avella, a Democrat, joins the opposition with a blistering piece entitled “City Residents Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Cuomo’s Upstate Nuke Bailout.” Among other points, Sen. Avella notes the cost to be paid by residents who won’t even benefit:
There’s a new wrinkle in the quest to power New York that will further drive up our already high utility bills. It’s both unfair and completely avoidable. Under a new plan announced last year, the state is adding a surcharge to all utility bills – regardless of whether the person uses gas, oil or a renewable resource, which many people are already paying a premium for. That surcharge, which will also hit businesses and local governments, will bring an estimated $7.6 billion over the next 12 years.
All of the money will go to Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion. All so the company can prop up three aging nuclear power plants.
That’s not a fair deal for New York taxpayers. And it’s even more one-sided when you consider the fact that the vast majority of New Yorkers aren’t even getting their power from these old nuclear plants. Customers with Con Edison, which powers parts of New York City and Westchester, alone will pay $700 million. So we’re basically paying for something we’ll never use.”
Fortunately, he’s not just complaining about it. He’s doing something about it:
I recently introduced a bill that would require the state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, to determine what parts of the state are served by the nuclear power plants, and which ones aren’t. Communities that don’t get their power from the plants, mostly in downstate areas like New York City, wouldn’t have to pay under my bill. It’s only fair.”
That’s for sure. Bit by bit, Gov. Cuomo’s boondoggle is unraveling. For New York consumers and businesses alike, the sooner it is brought to an end, the better they’ll be.