Last week, I discussed energy policy in New York and provided an overview of the top issues which our state must address in my blog, It is clear that energy and economic development are intrinsically related and any solution that is proposed to address New York’s top energy issues will undoubtedly have some type of economic effect. The hope is that our state leaders pursue energy policies that support job creation and economic development within New York. Unfortunately, this is not the case with an ill-conceived, special-interest proposal to import power from Canada to New York City that faces opposition from numerous business and labor organizations.
The proposal, known as the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), not only fails to address our state’s challenging transmission infrastructure needs, it also poses serious negative implications for employment and economic development in New York. If approved, the CHPE project would jeopardize the viability of in-state power generators, put thousands of jobs on the line, and have New Yorkers send billions to Canada for a product that we can manufacture much better and more efficiently here.
As an isolated, stand-alone 330-mile transmission line, CHPE would also undermine investment in much-needed in-state transmission and generation projects, including Governor Cuomo’s energy highway proposal. The line crosses through several counties, but provides no access point for generators located there.
We have a chance to develop projects that will create hundreds of local jobs for the long term and ensure we continue to have access to affordable and reliable power in the future. Let’s not lose sight of what is important. We need to break our dependence on foreign power. We already feel the pain at the pump, there is no need for us to feel it at the plug too.