Albany – The 2011 Legislative Session began this week with Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) continuing to serve as Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee. This marks the fourth consecutive session he has taken the lead in developing the Assembly’s energy policy.
“In just a few short years we have made great strides in changing our energy policies for the better,” said Chairman Cahill. “New York is now a national leader when it comes to energy efficiency, the development and deployment of renewable resources and the creation of a framework from which we can build a new energy economy.”
Cahill highlighted his work on the new energy planning statute, the enhancement of the state’s net metering laws, the modernization of the energy building code and the creation of the Green Jobs / Green New York Program as key accomplishments during his tenure. The Committee wasted no time getting to work in 2011, holding its first meeting on Tuesday. Next week, Assemblymember Cahill will convene a budget oversight hearing to review the activities of the Department of Public Service, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Power Authority.
“We have an opportunity to take some bold actions this year in terms of encouraging new markets for solar energy, reforming the Power For Jobs program, enacting a new power plant siting law and providing homeowners and small businesses with access to new energy efficiency opportunities,” said Chairman Cahill. “Governor Cuomo has indicated that he shares some of these same goals and I am looking forward to working with his administration to accomplish our objectives.”
Chairman Cahill’s energy agenda for 2011 includes the following:
- the enactment of a permanent economic development power program that stresses long-term stability and energy efficiency;
- enhancing the Green Jobs /Green New York Program by adding an on-bill recovery option for consumers;
- strengthening the security and reliability of the electric grid;
- the creation of a market for Solar Renewable Energy Credits;
- the passage of a fuel-neutral power plant siting law (Article X) that will assist in efforts to repower aging facilities and bring more wind generation online; and
- bringing about more accountability to the Independent System Operator.