This commentary I wrote, Marlin: The job’s too big for the incredible shrinking governor, appears on the Long Island Business News web site.
Archive for July 2009
This article I wrote appeared on The Catholic Thing web site on July 14, 2009.
STOP KESSEL BEFORE HE WASTES MILLIONS MORE
Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) is to be commended for the public service he has performed by highlighting waste at Richie Kessel’s NYPA and for proposing that Western New York receive directly the benefits of the regions’ hydropower patrimony. Last month, Higgins proposed that about 36% of the net revenue from the Niagara Power Project’s sale of hydropower be taken from Kessel’s control and directed to WNY economic development. It’s about time. NYPA itself has confessed that less than half that percentage remains in Western New York.
State Senator Darrell Aubertine (D), Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, also deserves kudos for his proposal to create a North Country Power Authority and replace NYPA in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties in Senator Aubertine’s district.
After less than a year of Kessel’s “leadership” marked by an unprecedented divided vote on his selection as CEO, a stinging public rebuke from Governor Paterson, more coverage of Long Island by NYPA, an upstate utility, than by Macy’s and a growing Dump Kessel Movement—leading members of Kessel’s own Democratic party in Congress and the State Senate are moving to emasculate NYPA.
Thanks to our correspondents who pointed out Higgins’ cool, detached non-endorsement of the grossly wasteful Yahoo! Deal announced by Kessel on June 30. In the Yahoo! Press release, Higgins did not speak to the Yahoo! giveaway but rather reiterated his belief that Western New York’s energy patrimony be kept in the region and not controlled by a NYPA run by a Long Islander.
Specifically, thanks to the intrepid reporting of The Buffalo News, we know that NYPA is paying Yahoo! as much as $800,000 per job which is multiples higher than the average NYPA subsidy and wealth destructive to the State and the region in every respect. The sole beneficiaries are Kessel’s growing press apparatus and Yahoo! senior management who pulled one over on Kessel. One can only assume that when Yahoo! googled Kessel’s history of rolling over for LILCO and energy companies and vendors on Long Island, the company was heartened and encouraged to ask for the moon.
As reported in The Buffalo News and Street Corner Conservative, energy hungry data centers in remote areas don’t generate Silicon Valley-type spinoffs but are sited in undeveloped areas with cheap, subsidized power for geographic diversification to protect the integrity of the Yahoo! System and receive the public subsidy to power and cool power hungry servers.
Finally, Street Corner Conservative notes that, as it predicted, Kessel’s premature announcement of the Yahoo! deal resulted in a loss of the State’s leverage and the bestowing of additional State and local subsidies on Yahoo! Street Corner Conservative estimates that additional subsidy at about $40 million. So, if additional evidence were needed, Congressman Higgins’ proposal is spot on and taking NYPA profits away from the innumerate and media hungry Kessel is sound policy. Street Corner Conservative will be tracking the progress of the proposals by Higgins and Aubertine.