A.G. Offers Blueprint For Increasing Energy Supply While Protecting Environment
Attorney General Spitzer today released a report designed to serve as a blueprint for teaming business and environmental interests to help solve the state's energy problems.
"This is a critical moment in New York," Spitzer said. "We cannot ignore the warning signs of an energy crisis. We must be aggressive in addressing our energy needs while at the same time acting in a way that does not worsen environmental problems or damage public health."
In a first-time approach, Spitzer has secured the cooperation of the business and environmental communities to convene and discuss ways of resolving a divergence of views on energy issues that has stymied action in Albany.
"Developing common ground on this critical issue will allow the state to move forward with steps necessary to ensure a safe, clean, reliable, and affordable energy supply," Spitzer said.
The business community is seeking to streamline and expedite the process of siting new power plants. The environmental community, meanwhile, has raised concerns that additional power plants will worsen air pollution problems and global warming.
In his report, Spitzer offers specific proposals to improve the siting process and actions that will expand clean power generating capacity.
Spitzer said the state must quickly expand generating capacity and decrease demand to avoid a devastating energy crisis that could come as early as this summer.
"By taking action now, New York State can make a major, new, long-term commitment to energy conservation that can help avoid energy price spikes, reduce the likelihood of brownouts, and limit the need to build additional power plants, " Spitzer said.
Spitzer said that he has received commitments from the Business Council of New York State and environmental leaders to participate in a meeting on energy issues early next month.
Robert B. Catell, Vice Chairman of the New York State Business Council; and Chairman and CEO of the KeySpan Corporation said:
"By working with environmental, community, and government stakeholders, we believe companies like KeySpan can achieve consensus on energy solutions. Common ground was recently achieved at KeySpan's Ravenswood plant expansion, where environmentalists and community groups sided with KeySpan to responsibly increase generation for New York City. We believe new energy technology, conservation, and energy efficiency will all play a role in our energy future."
John H. Adams, President of Natural Resources Defense Council said:
"From his first days in office, Attorney General Spitzer has fought to clean up Midwest power plants that harm our environment. Last week, he endorsed national legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other power plant pollutants. Today he is offering a comprehensive strategy for meeting New York's electricity needs that includes structural changes in how utilities are regulated and a greater commitment to energy efficiency and renewables. NRDC applauds Attorney General Spitzer's commitment to a cleaner environment and looks forward to working with him in developing a broad consensus in favor of these policies."
The Attorney General's Action Plan for a Balanced Electric Power Policy in New York State is a comprehensive report that makes specific recommendations to the New York State Legislature; the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC); the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); and the New York State Independent Service Operator (NYISO) and recommends ways to:
- Streamline and improve the siting process;
- Conserve energy and shift energy load;
- Expand transmission capacity;
- Improve industry-based demand-side management programs;
- Promote renewable energy sources; and
- Enhance competition in New York's wholesale electric market.
Copies of the Energy Action Plan and Fact Sheet may be accessed through Attorney General Spitzer's Web Page at: www.ag.ny.gov.
The report was prepared by members of the Attorney General's Telecommunications and Energy; and Environmental Protection Bureaus working under the direction of Deputy Attorney General Beth L. Golden.
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