- Moreland Commission Proposes Strengthening Qualifications of PSC Appointees

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2013
Travis Proulx: (518) 462-5526 x238, tproulx@eany.org

Moreland Commission Proposes Strengthening Qualifications of PSC Appointees

Statement from Conor Bambrick, Air & Energy Director

“The Moreland Commission has highlighted what many observers have known for a long time – the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) oversight of the state’s utilities and clean energy programs has resulted in countless decisions that have been anything but in the public’s best interest. With billions of ratepayer dollars currently on the line, the time has come for a complete overhaul of the state’s utility regulator, starting with nothing less than a fundamental shift in the quality and thinking of the PSC leadership.

Moreland’s criticisms shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. From redundant energy efficiency programs mired in red tape, to the lack of a cohesive vision about how New York should transform its energy grid to meet 21st century demands, it’s clear the time has come for the enactment of long-overdue, competent oversight mechanisms.

The PSC is in the process of creating a $5.7 billion energy spending plan that will define New York’s energy future for decades.

Ensuring this plan is designed and implemented well will require more than nominal changes in the scope of its powers and operations. It will require a fundamental shift in the quality and thinking of its leadership. The Moreland Commission calls for these changes, and Environmental Advocates of New York agrees.

The Governor’s appointment of Audrey Zibelman is a good start, but it cannot end there. In addition to filling an existing vacancy on the PSC, the Governor can appoint two additional commissioners in extraordinary circumstances. The state is embarking on a once in a generation investment to modernize the power grid, that qualifies as extraordinary.

Through the PSC, Governor Cuomo has the opportunity to create a modern power grid that is founded on energy efficiency, clean distributed generation, smart grid technology, and utility-scale renewable projects. But achieving the potential of this once-in-a-generation opportunity will require the appointment of the right people.”

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