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December 18, 2002

Senate votes to extend current power-plant siting law

The state Senate has approved a bill to extend the state's current law governing the siting of power plants until July of 2007.

Article X of the state's Public Service Law is due to expire Dec. 31. The Business Council has strongly advocated improvements to Article X that will accelerate the plant siting process and make it easier for the state to add the new generating capacity it needs.

"It is critically important that New York has enough electric generating capacity to meet the needs of residents and businesses," Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said. "With warmer summers and colder winters, we continue to set new records for power usage, creating a demand that is very difficult to meet."

The state Assembly has not approved an extension of the current law. It has passed its own bill that would impose a different set of changes. The Council opposes that bill.

Article X and its regulations establish a framework for the application, review, and approval process for any entity that seeks to construct and operate an electric generating facility with a capacity of 80 megawatts or more in New York State.

The Public Policy Institute, The Business Council's research affiliate, has studied New York's energy needs and capabilities extensively. In February 2002, The Institute released The Power to Grow, an extensive report on these issues.

The Power to Grow concluded that: