Senator Skelos Opposes Kessel’s NYPA-LIPA Merger Proposal
Senator Dean Skelos, the presumptive Senate Majority Leader, come next month faces massive challenges when the Senate convenes with new Governor Cuomo—a State that is broke, oppressive taxes and endemic corruption in State government. Skelos, a Republican from Rockville Centre, regained the majority after losing it two years ago. Skelos will be a bulwark against the City-centric Democratic majority in the Assembly and tbe out-going Democratic Senate Majority who see Long Island’s role as financing City expenditures.
One of the issues the State faces in addition to massive budget deficits and over-burdened business and individual taxpayers is the leadership of the State’s energy authorities. As readers of Street Corner Conservative know, NYPA CEO Richie Kessel has been working full time to preserve his high paid, political patronage position at NYPA, a gift of the out-going and incompetent Governor Paterson (“it’s someone’s fault, but it ain’t mine”).
With public money, Kessel has hired an old, Democratic warhorse lobbyist who has been peddling proposed legislation to merge NYPA and LIPA, which Kessel also used to run before being dispatched to the showers by former Governor Spitzer, who believed that a reform administration couldn’t include Kessel. The reasons why a combination of NYPA and LIPA doesn’t make sense are many and include financial, operating, economic equity and political reasons.
To his credit, Senator Skelos in an interview this week with hometown paper, Newsday, made the following statements to its editorial board:
Board: Most likely the new governor will be appointing a new head of LIPA. And for the first time, under the new authority reform law, the Senate will have to confirm that appointment. What qualities and skills will you be looking for?
Skelos: “Richie Kessel? No, I think what you need is really an energy expert. I think we have to bring in somebody that really knows energy and financing and all those aspects of energy.”
Board: Would you consider a merger of LIPA and NYPA?
Skelos: “I think that that would be a problem. Upstate is very protective of their NYPA [hydropower] energy. I think you can figure out a way to get additional energy to the Island, if we could do it in a fair way.”
The evident disdain that Skelos has for Kessel manifested in the “Richie Kessel?” answer bodes well for Skelos upcoming term running the Senate and for overburdened NYPA and LIPA ratepayers, both of whom have been treated harshly by the Kessel PR machine. Additionally, the new Majority Leader’s rejection of a NYPA-LIPA merger is welcome news to electric customers upstate and down. Finally, Street Corner expects that Senator George Maziarz who is expected to be Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee will stand as a vigilant watchdog against Kessel’s continued reign of economic terror throughout the Empire State.
Street Corner applauds Senator Skelos for his solid start to the new Legislative year.