DUNKIRK – In the face of a state regulatory agency increasing the costs of the NRG Dunkirk power plant by $100 million, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello called the agency a rogue entity forcing a radical political agenda on state energy consumers.
Borrello spoke extensively with WNYNewsNow about the New York State Independent System Operator (NYISO) saying NRG will need to pay $155 million to reconnect, while the original budget was $15 million.
“The NYISO is just another example of shadow government in New York State,” he said. “It’s like all the authorities, they have no accountability to anybody but the governor and even, in some cases, they go rogue on the governor which is what’s happening here.”
Borrello said NYISO is sadly failing its public mission to incorporate a much different agenda.
“The mission, if you go to their website, is to regulate our wholesale electric market to make it more affordable for New Yorkers. They are far from that mission,” he said. “What they are now is, they are on a radical political agenda to force-feed overpriced renewable energy on the people of New York. If their mission is to keep rates low they are a miserable failure.”
New York State, he said, has the eighth-highest energy costs in the nation.
“We are the only state in the top 10 that has an overabundance of hydro-electric power, that has an overabundance of natural gas and other resources. Clearly their mission has been to force-feed the boondoggle that they refer to as green energy, which does not fulfill its mission,” Borrello said. “The NYISO has gone rogue, they are the ones who set this arbitrary number and this arbitrary number was $15 million in the original budget for NRG and they turned it into $115 million.”
Borrello said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “rhetoric” may be behind the NYISO decisions.
“So they are intentionally trying to send this project down the tubes. unfortunately the governor’s rhetoric is probably fueling them because the governor’s rhetoric is he’s not going to approve any new fossil fuel plants in New York. First, natural gas has a much, much smaller carbon footprint than coal and its an abundant source of energy we have in New York State. They’re running transmission lines to Pennsylvania and Ontario and in Pennsylvania’s case, to some of the dirtiest power plants in the nation.”
NYISO remains unaccountable for their decisions and agenda, Borrello said.
“They have the power to say who can regulate energy and who can’t. They have the power to say who can be in business. It’s disgusting. You’re talking about NRG, who had just converted to clean coal at the cost of about $300 million. Then they (NYISO) said ‘No, you’ve got to go to natural gas’ and they said ‘Okay, we’re willing to spend another couple hundred million dollars’ and they said ‘Nope, we don’t want you to do this at all,’ ” Borrello said. “It’s a quasi-government entity that operates outside the open government laws in secrecy. Ironically, people on the web site say it’s transparent. It’s about as transparent as mud. There is no legislative oversight. They are to promote a radical political agenda. They are raising the cost of energy for businesses and families throughout New York State and someone has to put a stop to it and I think the governor is the only one who can do that.”
What NYISO and Cuomo are backing does nothing for the environment, as they claim, Borrello explained.
“We are not reducing our carbon footprint. We are just shifting it from plants in New York to plants in Pennsylvania and Ontario. By the way, we are downwind of Pennsylvania so the pollution ends up settling on our land anyway. It’s a completely bogus thing that’s only for political feel good measures. I think, like any other situation, we have to shine a bright light on this.”
State Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell have a real opportunity to expose the NYISO, Borrello said.
“I have confidence that Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell will help expose this fraud that’s going on and get the NYISO to step up and do the right thing, which is to fulfill the mission that they are supposed to be doing and that’s to create affordable energy for the people of New York State. They (NYISO) have failed in that mission horribly.”
Borrello called the issue just another in a line of broken promises.
“We have great positive things happening on in our county, scenic is certainly one of those things, but unfortunately the landscape is littered with broken promises from Albany and this is just another example of that,” he said.