Assembly Energy Committee chairman named

After more than half a year without a leader, the state Assembly Energy Committee has a new chairman

The wait is over. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver this evening announced his choice to replace former assemblyman Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, as chairman of the Assembly Energy Committee: Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston.

Silver made his decision after leaving the chairmanship open for eight months, effectively stalling that committee’s ability to meet, which drew criticism from some members of the Assembly last month.

Cahill was not a member of the Assembly Energy Committee prior to Silver appointing him its chairman. He also has seven years less seniority than Energy Committee member Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, whose father William Hoyt, was the Energy Committee chairman before Tonko.

In an interview with the Daily Gazette in January, Hoyt said there’s been gridlock on the issue of energy for too long and he hopes Gov. Eliot Spitzer can help overcome that.

In a news release Cahill stated: “As Energy Committee chair, I will focus on balancing vital power needs, job creation and economic development with affordability, efficiency and protection of the environment and public health. I will continue to be a strong advocate for promoting innovations in clean, renewable technology as a way to address our energy and global climate change challenges, and to position New York as the leader in clean, renewable power.”

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