Cuomo’s plan to end coal-powered plants will hurt WNY, Ortt says

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2019 at 12:37 pm

State Sen. Robert Ortt said a plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make the state’s power plants coal-free by the end of 2020 will hurt Western New York, including Somerset, where the power plant employs 60 people.

“The announcement by the Department of Environmental Conservation to close coal energy facilities in New York by 2020 is misguided,” Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said on Thursday. “While New York continues to import more than 75 percent of the energy consumed in the state, a majority of it being natural gas, small communities that are home to fossil fuel facilities are left devastated by plant closures.

“In addition to the implementation of this questionable energy policy, Gov. Cuomo has yet to establish any plans of reemployment for the men and women who lose their jobs due to his administration’s energy strategy,” Ortt said. “In my district, 60 jobs at Somerset Operating Company will now be at risk because of Gov. Cuomo. Gov. Cuomo’s energy plan for New York State is simple: import energy, export jobs.”

Cuomo on Thursday announced the DEC adopted final regulations to require all power plants in New York to meet new emissions limits for carbon dioxide (CO2). The regulations, a first-in-the-nation approach to regulating carbon emissions, will achieve Cuomo’s goal to end the use of coal in New York State power plants by the end of 2020.

“As our federal government continues to support the dying fossil fuel industry, deny climate change, and roll back environmental protections, New York is leading the nation with bold climate action to protect our planet and our communities,” Cuomo said. “With the adoption of these final regulations, we are taking yet another step toward a cleaner, greener, long-term energy solution to safeguard the environment for generations to come.”

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