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Media Advisory
January 9, 2007
Contact: Charles M. Pratt, principal author of report:
212-836-4706
Edna Sussman, Committee Chair: 914-472-9406

RISING ENERGY PRICES AND NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL ENERGY
CHALLENGES SUPPORT STATE ROLE IN DETERMINING ENERGY POLICY

NEW YORK CITY BAR ASSOCIATION RELEASES REPORT CALLING FOR THE STATE TO ESTABLISH AN ENERGY POLICY BOARD TO IDENTIFY AND COORDINATE THE STATES POLICIES

Both energy costs and the demand for electricity are growing. At the same time, the role of energy – and particularly electricity – in the economy and the public’s daily life are also growing. A report released by the New York City Bar Association, written by its Energy Committee, calls for the formation of an Energy Policy Board to develop a coordinated policy framework for energy in the State. The public would have ample opportunity to comment on the new Boards energy policy statements during their preparation.

The new Board would focus on electricity issues. It would work cooperatively with the independent system operator of the State’s electric grid, which also operates the markets in electricity used by the State’s electric customers. The Board would not have a regulatory role, nor would it be involved directly in decisions concerning the construction of new generating and transmission capacity. Rather, the new Board would examine the:

  1. Risks, benefits and uncertainties of energy supply sources;
  2. Emerging energy trends;
  3. Long-range planning objectives including environmental considerations;
  4. Administrative and legislative actions needed to implement energy plans and objectives; and
  5. Impact on economic development of energy policy.

The proposed Energy Policy Board would provide an opportunity for State agencies to work collaboratively to address energy policy issues which are not being addressed by the market. There appear to be significant challenges to the State’s continued supply of reliable, reasonably–priced electricity, and resolving these challenges may require investments of significant size in new technologies. How these challenges will be met is a major issue for the State.

The Energy Committee–s report emphasizes the need to work with the State–s existing competitive wholesale market and not undercut that market by regulatory interventions.

The new Board would provide opportunities for public comment both at the outset of the formulation of an energy policy statement and, later, after a draft policy statement is prepared and distributed. The Chairs of the Public Service Commission, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Empire State Development Corporation would constitute the Board proposed in the Report.

The Energy Committee–s Chairperson, Edna Sussman observed that with the importance of reliable and reasonably–priced electricity, prudence dictates that the State play a significant role in energy planning.

A copy of the full report can be found here: http://www.nycbar.org/pdf/report/Energy_Energy_Planning.pdf.




About the Association
The New York City Bar Association (www.nycbar.org) was founded in 1870, and since then has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.

 

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