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Rochester

Governor Warns Utility Companies to Restore Power in 'Timely' Fashion

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Governor Cuomo sent of warning letter seven power companies across the state, including RG&E, to pick up the pace in getting the power back on days after Sandy caused widespread power outages.

In the letter sent out Wednesday, Cuomo said he would direct the Public Service Commission to revoke these companies' certificates if they don't restore power to affected areas in a "timely" fashion.

Governor Cuomo said he spoke to the heads of many of the state’s utilities yesterday, reminding them he's keeping an eye on them.

National Grid and NYSEG were also included in the warning.

Governor Cuomo’s Letter to the Utilities

November 1, 2012

Mr. Kevin Burke, Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc.
4 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-3598

Mr. William Longhi, President & Chief Executive Officer
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River, NY 10965
Mr. James Laurito, President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Mr. Mark S. Lynch, President
Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. & New York State Electric & Gas Corp.
89 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14649

Mr. Ken Daly, Chief Operating Officer
National Grid – NY
One Metro Tech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Mr. Thomas B. King, President
National Grid, USA
201 Jones Road – 5th Fl.
Waltham, MA 02451-1120

Mr. Michael Hervey, Chief Operating Officer
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 403
Uniondale, NY 11553

Dear Gentlemen:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are faced with responding to its continued harsh impacts on literally every facet of life. I recognize there are men and women in the field now working hard to restore service, and we are grateful for their efforts. But it is your job to provide them with adequate resources and support to get the job done in a timely and safe manner. Utilities, like elected officials, are vested with the public’s trust. In the case of utilities, in exchange for conducting business and generating profits for their shareholders, they are entrusted to provide safe and adequate utility service. When they fail to keep the public’s trust, they must answer.
Because we had several days’ notice of an event of catastrophic proportions, State and local government and New Yorkers prepared for an impending storm. Indeed, the public depended on utilities to prepare for such an event, respond to emergencies and to return, as quickly as possible, to providing safe and adequate electricity. The response of your companies to this emergency will be, in great part, a function of how well you prepared for it and a testament to how seriously you view this responsibility.
If you failed to prepare, however, as evidenced by your response, it is a failure to keep your part of the bargain – a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York State; in particular, the certificates of public convenience and necessity (“Certificate”) granted by the State under the Public Service Law. New Yorkers should not suffer because electric utilities did not reasonably prepare for this eventuality. In the context of the ongoing emergency, such a failure constitutes a breach of the public trust.
Under such circumstances, I would direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your Certificates. With respect to the Long Island Power Authority, I will make every change necessary to ensure it lives up to its public responsibility. It goes without saying that such failures would warrant the removal of the management responsible for such colossal misjudgments.
Sincerely,

ANDREW M. CUOMO

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