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Pursuing a Public Option
Central Hudson cannot be allowed to illegally price gouge our community. As your assemblymember, I will stand up to Central Hudson and fight for the transition to public power. Transitioning to a green energy economy in NYS will require expertise and coordination across industries to account for the various types of green energy such as solar, wind and geothermal. Private utility providers are designed to prioritize profit over people, and would slow down this transition–and we don’t have the time to wait. Pursuing a public option early on will ensure we are proactive rather than reactive to the green energy transition in NYS.
Here’s my plan:
Short Term Plan
While a publicly operated utility is a long term goal to work toward, we need immediate solutions so constituents receive relief right away:
  • S.6557A would address delivery charges.
  • S.3334 of 2022, carried by Energy Committee Chair Senator Parker, currently without a carrier in the Assembly. This measure would exempt certain taxes from the delivery of certain electric services, being that it does not require the same costly delivery systems as gas and petroleum for example. Introducing the same as in the Assembly house would ensure this measure can make it to the Governor's desk for signature.
    • These are two bills for immediate passage to address the delivery charges as well as the service fees.
  • Prohibition on service shutoffs when volatility reaches a certain threshold​​.
If elected, I will:
  • Introduce a bill to re-regulate supply and hedging practices in NYS, which were deregulated in 1996 in an effort to increase competition.
  • Introduce legislation to expand the Department of Public Service and PSC oversight authority, so they can exercise greater scrutiny over utility hedging practices, mandate parameters, and institute penalties when necessary.
  • Assign the Legislative Investigative arms to pursue an analysis of the Regulatory Authority responsible for oversight of utilities in NYS to ensure they are operating in the best interest of the consumer, not utility provider. The Regulatory Authority has approved numerous rate hike proposals in a short span, and neglected to address the poor response times, billing errors and more, which all negatively impact the consumer while profiting the utility company.
  • Hold Central Hudson accountable for bad practices and delaying infrastructure improvements in an effort to grow their profits, with the state utilizing the fines levied against Cen Hud for bad practices to then upgrade system and infrastructure.

Once Central Hudson is held fully accountable and pays their dues to account for such, we should transition to a publicly owned utility.

Long Term Plan - Publicly Owned Utility

A Public option is a long term goal, as it will require the coordination of numerous counties, public hearings, and more. Further, we want to maximize this transition to position us well for the green energy transition in NYS. We must also demonstrate caution in adopting Central Hudson's potentially aging, faulty infrastructure.

We should pursue one of two existing models in NYS–Rural Cooperative Model and Municipal Cooperative Model, with the Municipal Cooperative Model serving as the best option, considering the mix of rural and urban makeup of Hudson Valley service territory. Maintenance and operations assistance should be provided by NYPA.

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