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June 22, 2005

Council urges lawmakers to enact comprehensive energy legislation

The Business Council is strongly supporting legislation to extend and modify several New York Power Authority (NYPA) programs that provide reduced-rate power to eligible employers across the state.

"Electric power costs continue to be a significant competitiveness issue for New York State businesses, and especially for manufacturers," the Council said in a legislative memo supporting the bill. "Industrial facilities often face in-state power rates that are significantly higher than those paid by out-of-state competitors."

Proposed legislation (S.5866/Wright-A.8960/Tonko) takes several steps to address New York's problems with high power costs, the memo said.

The bill would:

"As manufacturers in New York and worldwide continue to innovate in the race to become more efficient, looking at employment levels only is an inadequate measurement of a business' long-term commitment to staying in New York State," the legislative memo said. "This legislation allows NYPA to consider factors such as capital investments that are indicative of a business' overall health and commitment to New York, in making contract decisions."

This legislation will be included as one of the scoring measurements of The Business Council's "Vote for Jobs Index 2005". This is The Business Council's annual assessment of legislator's action on key issues of concern to the state's business community.