Updates from the Committee on Energy

Cahill Legislation Extends Power for Jobs Program
Temporary extender will protect jobs until solution is finalized
May 18, 2010

Albany – The Assembly passed legislation authored by Assembly Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) that extends New York’s Power for Jobs program uninterrupted through June 2nd. The bill (A.11101) will ensure participating businesses continue to receive the low-cost power while the Legislature and the Governor finalize negotiations on reforming the program. The Senate followed the Assembly’s lead and passed the measure, which is headed to the Governor for approval.

“This program needs reform and we must use this opportunity to produce a real solution, one that will hold businesses accountable for creating jobs and investing in their New York operations,” Assemblymember Cahill said. “This extension will give us the opportunity to negotiate the few remaining differences with the Executive and the Senate so we can finally enact a permanent program that protects upstate ratepayers while providing businesses with the energy stability they need to create and retain jobs.”

Power for Jobs offers employers some relief from the high energy costs. This extender is important to hundreds of businesses and not-for-profits that depend on this program. The legislation is a temporary fix for entities that are currently receiving benefits, while allowing more time to negotiate a new program.

Currently there are four similar legislative solutions that have been put forth by the Assembly, Senate and Executive. Each initiative proposes the creation of a stable and permanent program to give New York State the flexibility it needs to help companies effectively address their energy challenges in exchange for job retention and growth, capital investment and energy efficiency.

“There is no question that we must become more energy and cost efficient in order for our economy to fully recover. New Yorkers pay some of the highest energy prices in the country. I look forward to working with the Senate and the Governor’s office to finalize a proposal that protects rate payers and has strong accountability measures that will provide the long term energy stability that businesses need to commit to New York.”

Power for Jobs has required annual extensions for the last five years. While the program maintains incentives for current participants, it is closed to new businesses. Moreover, year to year extensions provide little predictability that businesses need to invest in their New York operations and limits the ability of the state to plan ahead, maximize resources and administer economic development incentives effectively.