According to a report by Reuters, New York’s electric grid operator said on Thursday the state should have enough power resources to meet customer needs until at least 2019, if demand grows as currently forecast. However, the New York Independent System Operator also raised concern about the future of the Indian Point nuclear plan, writing that it represents “one of the biggest risks to the reliability of the state’s grid.” Indian Point supplies a quarter of the power used by New York City. But there are doubts whether the plant’s federal licenses will be renewed when they expire this year and 2015.
The Cuomo administration has called for Indian Point’s closure and state regulators have told utilities to move ahead with an $800 million contingency plan in the event Indian Point closes in 2016. However, The Business Council believes the governor has not adequately examined the economic impact that would result from the loss of the nuclear plant.
“Unlike typical rate increases that only affect specific utility customers, all New Yorkers are being asked to bankroll this (contingency plan), effectively subsidizing the electricity of New York City and Westchester County customers,” Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, wrote regulators several months ago.
In comments filed today with the Public Service Commission (PSC), business, environmental and citizen groups jointly called for cleaner solutions to replace the outdated Dunkirk and Cayuga coal plants. The PSC is currently deciding whether to approve a costly repowering of the plants or replace the small amount of power generated with transmission upgrades. The groups argue the Commission should investigate other solutions including energy efficiency, renewable power generation and demand response as cleaner and cheaper options that would better serve New York’s businesses and families who will foot the bill for the changes.
“The Business Council joins with the environmental advocacy community in calling upon the Public Service Commission to place an emphasis on the most efficient and cost-effective solutions when planning for the retirements of Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants to place an emphasis on the most efficient and cost-effective solutions — The Commission should consider the following alternatives including transmission upgrades and clean energy alternatives such as energy efficiency and demand response that will reduce overall demand, cut waste, reduce energy costs and limit the need for new generation.” said Heather Briccetti President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “The Commission should reject the current repowering proposals which runs counter to New York’s now dynamic and competitive energy market where capital costs and associated risks for conventional projects are borne by the developer, not by the ratepayer. Energy market forces and design, have already provided New York consumers with cleaner, more reliable generation, and historically lower wholesale electricity costs.”
“We can’t afford to sink more money into dirty coal of the past. The potential retirement of these coal plants is an opportunity to invest in a healthier future for our kids that we can’t miss out on. Upstate New York has tremendous potential for clean, renewable energy like wind, solar and efficiency that together could cut energy demand, lower electricity prices, create jobs and clean up the air we all breathe,” said Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative for the Sierra Club.
The Business Council of New York State, Inc., Sierra Club, ACE NY, Earthjustice, Vote Solar Initiative, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Environmental Advocates of New York, and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) filed joint comments in PSC Case 12-E-0577.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, told energy and chemical industry leaders that “the antis have told a story that scares people, who are not hearing about the economic benefits” of natural gas hydrofracking. She was the keynote speaker at a forum hosted by the American Chemistry Council in Albany Tuesday.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council joined Governor Cuomo yesterday as he announced his plan for casinos in New York State. Briccetti said the plan was ‘very consistent with the focus on tourism and upstate job growth and also the recognition that getting some of the tourist visitors to Upstate New York will positively benefit the upstate economy.”
Multiple news sources outlined the plan that calls for a referendum on the issue this fall. Details include dividing upstate New York into six regions, with three proposals in each region competing for the winning bid, and new casinos in the Capital Region, the Catskills and the Southern Tier.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, was among the dozens of business and tourism officials who attended Governor Cuomo’s Tourism Summit at The Egg in Albany Thursday. During the event, the governor announced that the state will provide $60 million in efforts to boost tourism in the state. He also announced several initiatives, including the creation of a commission charged with attracting major sporting events to New York.
As Casey Seiler wrote in the Times Union, several participants said the real challenge was redirecting more of New York City’s tourists to upstate tourist attractions – “a need that ‘can’t be overstated,’ said Briccetti.”
Small business owners and business leaders from across the state, including The Business Council, assembled on Wednesday to participate in Small Business Day. The effort, led by the National Federation of Independent Businesses of New York, focused on a six-point legislative agenda of the challenges faced by the state’s 2 million small businesses.
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Liquefied Natural Gas Storage and Transportation Exemption
A4202 (Camara)/S119A (Maziarz)
Out-of-Network Health Care Coverage
Healthcare Quality Cost Containment Commission to review healthcare mandates
Scaffold Law Reform
A3104 (Morelle)/S111 (Gallivan)
Wage Theft Prevention Act
A2482 (Gabryszak)/S2313 (DeFrancisco)
Unfunded Mandate Reform Act
A3106 (Morelle) / S4094 (O’Brien)
“Small Business Day is an important annual event, when we remind legislators that small business have enormous potential for growth, but needs relief from the layers of compliance burdens imposed by New York State,” said Business Council president Heather Briccetti. “We are asking for legislative action on a reform package that will reduce costs, provide new opportunities for investment and job creation, and allow small business owners to focus on their core business objectives.”
We urge you to take action on these issues by sending a letter to your legislators:
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, lauded the Environmental Incentive Policy announced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Among other things, it waives penalties for violations discovered and disclosed voluntarily or discovered during pollution prevention. “The Business Council praises the work of Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Martens and the Department of Environmental Conservation staff, for their commitment to bring this policy to maturity,” said Briccetti.
“Now is the time to work together to successfully implement evidence-based initiatives that will prepare all students to graduate high school with the skills they need to succeed in college and the workplace.” – Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State.
Approximately three million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled and major reforms are necessary to overcome the skill gap. After graduating from high school, students are often ill-equipped to become successful in college and the work world. Businesses, elected officials, parents, and education leaders need to work in partnership to ensure that students have all the skills they need for success in our communities.