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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications
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Monday, June 28, 2004

COUNCIL LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO FIGHT COSTLY ENERGY PROPOSAL

ALBANY—The Business Council has launched a new Web-based initiative to help its members and other business leaders from around the state warn the state Public Service Commission (PSC) against adopting a renewable energy mandate in a way that would increase New York’s already above-average energy costs.

A "recommended decision" issued by an administrative law judge in early June urged the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to require consumers and businesses to buy electricity from renewable sources—power that is generally more costly than electricity generated by conventional energy sources.

The recommended decision projected cost increases of 1.8 percent for residential customers, 2 percent for commercial customers, and 2.4 percent for industrial customers.

The Council's initiative, launched today, offers business leaders and others the opportunity to send letters the PSC voicing concerns about renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in New York State and asking them to reject any effort to mandate those standards.

"The state Public Service Commission is considering a plan that could push rates even higher – and that could undermine the reliability of our electric system, as well," an introductory message about the initiative says.

"This plan would mandate that by 2013, 25 percent of the electricity you purchase must come from 'renewable' sources – regardless of the cost," the message continues. “Business needs to raise its voice NOW to ask the Public Service Commission to slow down, think twice, and avoid any action that will further undermine our business climate.”

“Commercial rates in this state are 47 percent above the national average already,” a typical letter to the PSC says. “New York’s rate of job creation lags far behind our competitors. The last thing you should do is make this situation worse.”

The letters also urge the PSC to consider voluntary measures to increase the usage of renewable power in New York. “Sound incentives are already bringing more and more renewable power on line,” one letter concludes. “Go with what works. Don’t add to the cost of doing business and drive more jobs from our state.”

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