Energy Policies

Our legislative agenda considers the following Energy Policies affecting Niagara County businesses:

  • Proceeds Bill
  • Energy Highway
  • Marcellus Shale Horizontal Drilling

 

Proceeds Bill

There is no doubt that one of the biggest economic assets to the region is the low-cost hydropower created at the Niagara Power Project.  Currently the temporarily unused power is sold state-wide with proceeds benefitting NYPA.  The passage of a new bill to seek the local economic benefit of those proceeds is imperative.

Action Steps

  • Support the passage of Bill S.5835/A.8538, the “Proceeds Bill” ensuring that the sale of hydropower from the Niagara Power Project is used for economic development with thirty miles of the power project
  • Work with the Western New York state delegation to ensure passage of this bill
  • Support the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board and its ability to recommend how proceeds of the sale of power are used for economic development

 

Energy Highway

Governor Cuomo has called for a private-sector funded ($2 billion) “Energy Highway” which would bring excess renewable energy from Canada, Upstate and Western New York, to Downstate to meet demand in that region.  The Chamber recognizes the importance of power issues with the scope of economic recovery for the state.  However, we must be aware that any new policies do not place an unfair burden on rate payers.

Action Steps

  • Seek a clear definition of what the Energy Highway is, what purpose it serves, and how investors will be chosen
  • Advocate for incentives for clean energy companies and new technologies used to create this “highway”
  • Support the development of smart-grid technology and an efficient transmission system which  would integrate renewable sources of energy and create economic stability in the market

 

Marcellus Shale Horizontal Drilling

The potential that can be obtained through drilling in the Marcellus Shale ($32 million in tax revenue and thousands of new jobs) makes this potentially one of New York’s largest economic recovery projects.  However, there cannot be a rush to drill until all issues are resolved in the best interest of the environment, business, and residents.  As the leading business advocacy organization in Niagara County, the Chamber must take a position on this matter.

Action Steps

  • Seek a clear, comprehensive plan on how drilling and exploration would proceed.
  • Support legislation that would allow for exploration on a limited basis based on acceptable parameters including environmental issues.
  • Engage the DEC to create a pilot program at the Niagara Falls Water Treatment Facility to treat wastewater from the drilling process.
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