This article I wrote appeared on the The Catholic Thing website on November 25, 2008.
Archive for November 2008
This article I wrote appears in Philadelphia’s The Bulletin on November 24, 2008.
The new CEO of NYPA, the largest publicly-owned electric utility in the nation with 18 generating plants around the State and 1,400 miles of transmission and distribution lines throughout the State chose, surprise, Long Island to announce NYPA’s new free weatherization blitz program. Yes, NYPA technically serves electric customers on Long Island in three villages—Rockville Centre and Freeport in Nassau and Greenport on the North Folk in Suffolk—villages with a combined 23,000 electric customers out of Long Island’s 3 million people and the State’s over 18 million residents.
Last year, NYPA’s board approved a $5 million grant to fund the weatherization kits which will undoubtedly help some low-income families to cut their fuel bills. That’s a good thing and Street Corner Conservative doesn’t quarrel with the intent of the program. But Richie Kessel dreams of finally being elected to office, specifically that of Nassau County Executive when the current occupant departs for greener political pastures. Thus, NYPA with its headquarters in White Plains and a primarily upstate mission chose Freeport, Long Island to announce this new initiative which NYPA’s press release said will assist 20,000 to 30,000 customers State-wide of which 875 or roughly 3% are on Long Island.
Street Corner Conservative wonders how long before upstate business and political leaders and media wonder why Buffalo or Rochester or Massena wasn’t the site of yesterday’s press event and, more pertinently, what Kessel’s appointment means for the struggling upstate economy. One also wonders what the reaction is at LIPA, which Richie Kessel formerly ran for over a decade, and which serves over 95% of Long Island electric customers. Local political historians may one day deem yesterday’s news conference the start of the latest Kessel campaign for Nassau County Executive.
This article I wrote appeared in Philadelphia’s The Bulletin on November 12, 2008.
This article I wrote appears on The Catholic Thing website on November 12, 2008.
This article I wrote appeared in the Watertown Daily Times on November 8, 2008.
The November 7-12 issue of Long Island Business News (libn.com) contains Richie Kessel’s typically anodyne op-ed piece on wind power (“Blowing Toward Energy Independence”) in which he lets slip that NYPA has been approached by “dozens of [wind farm] developers” to develop projects as large as 500 or more megawatts. Richie says he looks forward to the day when “New York can be the wind capital of the world.” Once again, as is his wont, there is no mention of the billions required to build these projects or the effect on our electric bills.
Following his ill-fated exploration of a 40 turbine wind farm off Jones Beach while he ran LIPA, rational, independent analysis confirmed that these proposed wind farms in the Atlantic off the coast of Long Island would be grossly uneconomic and inflate already onerous LI electric rates. Long Islanders will remember that Kessel’s successor at LIPA, Kevin Law, insisted on releasing publicly the cost estimates and economics of the failed Kessel wind plan which showed that Kessel had hidden the true costs. LIPA’s disclosure in 2007 indicated that the Jones Beach plan would have cost over $800 million or multiples of the low-ball number Kessel had floated for a proposed 140MW wind farm. Simple extrapolation of that cost estimate to a 500 MW wind farm even farther off the coast of Long Island (and therefore disproportionally more expensive) would require investment of over $4 billion and would drive downstate electric rates to the heavens. Enough said for now.