New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, says he is concerned a recently passed law governing approval for renewable energy
His office says the law is â€śset to go into effect soon, that will see unelected bureaucrats in Albany making decisions for local governments and energy generated upstate sent to downstate communities.â€ť
The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which Sen. Griffo voted against, was passed as part of the 2020-21 State Budget. It revamps the approval, siting and construction process for energy-generating facilities in the state. However, the Act also removed two local ad hoc representatives from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment – essentially ensuring that local governments and communities will no longer have a say in the siting of certain projects.
The previous Public Service Commission Article 10 regulations that the act now bypasses had included local governments in the process.
â€śMost of these projects will be constructed in Upstate New York but will provide energy solely for downstate and New York City, regions that stand to benefit the most from this lawâ€ť Sen. Griffo said.
â€śIt is unconscionable that localities in which these projects will be situated will not be able to provide input as a result of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. Local control has been taken away and now unelected Albany bureaucrats will be making important decisions that will affect upstate communities throughout the state for years to come.â€ť
“We have seen the powerful affect that local voices can have when it comes to what goes on in their own backyards. Instead of telling residents and communities that their input doesn’t matter, as the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act does, we should welcome and encourage public input and let their thoughts, opinions and concerns be heard,â€ť he said in prepared remarks.
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