Upstate legislators are opposing a plan to build an electricity transmission line from Canada to New York City, claiming the proposal to import lower cost hydroelectric power would cost New York jobs.
The 13 Republicans and one Democrat say the 330-mile power line from Quebec would make New York more reliant on other countries for energy at the expense of its own power industry.
“Our state’s resources should be used to create jobs in New York, rather than export them to a foreign country,” the senators led by Sen. George Maziarz of hydropower-rich Niagara County wrote.
The letter to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a rare critique from within the Senate’s Republican majority, which has been Cuomo’s critical ally in fiscal issues. The letter also notes that Cuomo “helped us to push through” a cap in property tax growth, a victory Cuomo has counted among his top accomplishments.
The Champlain-Hudson Power Express proposal now before the state Public Service Commission is expected to be acted upon within weeks.
The $2 billion proposal by Transmission Developers Inc. promises to reduce power plant air pollution in New York City while easing energy costs in the city and making the state less bound to the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. Cuomo has said he wants to close the aging nuclear plant, but he needs to replace the vast amount of energy it produces.
The state’s Public Service Commission is considering the line that would run under the Hudson River and underground to bring some of the least expensive energy to New York City, where the need for power is increasing and the cost is among the highest in the nation.
The Independent Power Producers of New York trade group favors updating New York City power stations.