Tonawanda News

Local News

August 26, 2012

POWERS THAT BE

Somerset Power Co. -- formerly AES -- up and running

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

There is an effort for full repeals of RGGI and Corwin said withdrawal from the compact is possible. Environmentalists are fighting to save it.

“It hurts New York State business,” said Goodenough who is Chief Operating Officer for the new endeavor. “It has had a reverse affect.”

Goodenough has met with the state officials and came away with the feeling that the energy policy is trumped by environmental issues.

The group talked about “fracking,” a controversial way to get natural gas from deep underground sources. Pennsylvania profited but has environmental problems. New York State proponents say they will do fracking the right way, without polluting the water.

Syracuse wants Corwin to take part in the fight in Albany. “We need an advocate for Niagara County,” he said. “We’re not producing in New York State, so we’re going to Canada and New Jersey. Put an end to this nonsense.”

According to Engert, New York State has the fourth highest electrical rates in the country. He wants coal as part of a diverse energy portfolio. The supervisor said their investors believe in the Somerset plant.

Corwin understands that the outdated grid stands in the way for getting upstate power to downstate producers.

“Get behind the Energy Highway,” Goodenough said. “Coal can be used cheaply.”

According to the new company, which is owned by bondholders, the long-term success of the Somerset and Cayuga facilities depends on their place in the Energy Super Highway.

“We need diversity,” Corwin said. “We don’t want coal to be forgotten.”

Corwin, who was elected to the assembly in 2009, was impressed with the cleanliness of the plant and wants to keep it up and running.

Corwin has investigated fracking. “Pennsylvania didn’t do it right. New York state is different,” she said.

White, who lives in Barker, has looked into fracking water. “Fracking can be done safely,” he said.

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