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July 3, 2007

Adams: New York needs more electricity, and a new plant-siting law to make that possible

New York State needs to substantially increase its electricity-generating capacity, and state lawmakers should return to Albany as soon as possible to seek a compromise on a new law to expedite the siting of power plants, Business Council President Kenneth Adams argued in a July 12 op-ed in the Albany Times Union.

"The leaders have to meet, forge a compromise and get something done to help their customers, all 19 million of us, before the lights go out," Adams wrote.

The Times Union published the story here.

Even with one of the nation's best energy-conservation records, New York already lacks enough generating capacity to keep electricity supplies ample, secure, affordable, and reliable, Adams wrote. "Tight supplies push up electricity prices for homes and businesses across the state."

"It's time for a practical compromise -- something between the Senate's proposal, which promotes new generation but does not satisfy certain environmental concerns, and the governor's plan, which imposes environmental controls in a way that limits options for new power."

"A reasonable approach would be for the Senate to back off on nuclear power and the governor to allow a bit more coal. (Of course, developers of nuclear plants could apply for permits through the existing approval process, without the benefit of the expediting Article X law. There are places upstate, such as Oswego County, that want nuclear plants.)"

Adams also argued that emerging "clean coal" technology suggests that New York could rely more on that fuel source "and still be environmentally responsible." He also noted that New York is already "national leader in environmentally friendly energy production and consumption."