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MAY 1998

Power for Jobs gains steam

Momentum is building behind an idea that is a major Business Council priority: allocating more megawatts of power to "Power for Jobs," a state program that provides low-cost power to employers that promise to retain or create in-state jobs.

"We hope lawmakers act on this immediately," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.

"Demand for this power has been astounding," he added. "The 133 megawatts set aside for the first year of the program went within five months. The message is that more power is needed now to help create and retain jobs."

Senator James Seward is sponsoring a bill to provide 400 additional megawatts of power to the program, with 133 megawatts to be allocated in equal installments in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

Senator Seward's bill, which was approved in the Senate Energy Committee with no negative votes, would allocate 75 megawatts of power to be shared by small businesses and not-for-profit groups.

The Senate bill also would change the way the new megawatts are distributed.

The current program allocates megawatts to a utility's service territory in proportion to how much the utility pays in gross receipts taxes.

Under the Senate bill, the state Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB) would make power allocations based solely on the merits of applications.

Governor Pataki has said that he will also propose an increased power allocation.

"Because our energy costs are still relatively high, investing in lower-cost power can only improve job creation in New York," Walsh said.

May 14, 1998