Letters to the Editor

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The New York Sun

‘‘Stark Reminder’ of Power Woes as City Swelters’

As chairman of the Assembly Committee on Energy, I am responding to your story “‘Stark Reminder’ of Power Woes as City Swelters” [New York, July 19, 2006]. The Assembly, once again, in a bi-partisan fashion, overwhelmingly approved reauthorization of Article X — the expired law which provides a one stop, fast track approval process for power plants — this session.

To expedite negotiations with the Senate, we eliminated several provisions this year, which are now incorporated in separate bills. Once our bill passed, Speaker Sheldon Silver and I called upon the Senate to approve their reauthorization bill and convene a conference committee to work out our differences. Unfortunately, since 2003, the Senate has failed to consider any Article X bill.To be accurate, this week’s reliability crisis in the Metro-New York area is a function of Con Edison’s aging distribution infrastructure rather than a lack of supply. Neverthless, the Senate’s lack of action may lead to further crises down the road.

Governor Pataki, who has not made this critical energy policy a priority, should provide some leadership and urge the Senate to approve our Article X bill or make some attempt to negotiate a threeway agreement and fulfill our responsibility to New York’s energy consumers. If not, this responsibility will befall the next governor, who I am quite sure will provide the leadership currently lacking.

Assembly Energy Committee

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