Cohocton Wind Watch: Brown agrees to meet with Schumer
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Friday, June 20, 2008

Brown agrees to meet with Schumer

Public Service Commission Chairman Garry Brown has agreed to meet with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer about Iberdrola SA’s $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.

Schumer wrote Brown a letter yesterday requesting the meeting, saying he was upset with an administrative law judge’s recommended decision in the case earlier in the week.

The judge, Rafael Epstein, had recommended that Brown and the commission’s four other members only approve the deal with significant conditions, including barring Iberdrola from building or owning any power generation, including wind farms, in the current Energy East service territory.

That would include areas around Rochester, Binghamton and parts of the Capital Region and the North Country.

Iberdrola is the largest wind developer in the world and is a 50 percent owner in the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, the state’s largest wind farm. Maple Ridge is in the National Grid territory and would not be subject to the judge’s proposed restriction.

Still, Schumer is upset that Iberdrola would have any restrictions for wind development anywhere in the state.

“As New York lags behind many states in developing alternative energy and Iberdrola is a worldwide leader in wind power, it is short-sighted to bar them from this sector of the industry,” Schumer wrote Brown.

PSC spokesman Jim Denn said this morning that Brown has agreed to meet with Schumer, but no date has been set.

Epstein’s decision is not binding, and the PSC commissioners are ultimately the ones who must approve or deny the deal. Their next meeting is July 16 in Albany.

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