Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster / Dutchess), Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, released his comments on the draft State Energy Plan. Pointing to the significant progress that has been made on energy issues by the Legislature and the Paterson administration, Assemblyman Cahill said the plan provides a basis for New York State to meet its energy needs in a manner that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
Assemblyman Cahill called on the State to abandon its goals for renewable energy and conservation, arguing that they do not go far enough. Instead he urged the state to aim for energy independence, saying:
"Such a fundamental shift in our basic mindset will get policymakers to think in terms of how we can best use renewable power, energy efficiency, indigenous resources and infrastructure enhancements to help satisfy our most pressing needs while addressing long term energy security at the same time.
Adhering to conventional goals and approaches runs the risk of funneling precious resources to the technologies and techniques du jour in order to meet arbitrary benchmarks. Setting our sites on energy independence will allow for new thinking, new models and signal to the rest of the world that New York is serious about being the leader in energy innovation."
Assemblyman Cahill's comments came shortly after Governor Paterson signed into law his bill creating a permanent Energy Planning Board. The law builds upon the current Energy Plan, that was ordered by the Executive, by calling for a new plan every four years, with biennial updates, ensuring a State Energy Plan that reflects the most current information possible on the state's energy needs. It also gives the Energy Planning Board the regulatory tools necessary to ensure a truly comprehensive plan.
"With this new law, we are unique in having in place a strong, comprehensive statutory framework for energy planning and policy development," said Assemblyman Cahill. "Our proactive approach will give us the tools we need for energy independence, security and reliability."
The full text of Assemblyman Cahill's comments on the draft State Energy Plan can be found here: http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Energy/20090924/.
To review the draft plan and submit comments please visit: www.nysenergyplan.com. The deadline for submitting comments is October 19, 2009.