In a visit to SUNY Fredonia's Technology Incubator on Thursday to discuss pending legislation, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was asked about the status of NRG and its impact on the local region.
Initially, the senator appeared to be caught off-guard and thought she was being asked about "energy" in general.
"In terms of energy, we have such an opportunity in this nation to focus on alternative energy sources to end our dependence on Middle East oil," she said.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pictured visiting the SUNY Fredonia Incubator Thursday.
At that point, a brief history of NRG was provided regarding the original intent to mothball two of the burners, later plans to convert to natural gas, and a later feasibility study with a dismal outlook. The severe impact on the local tax base was noted. After the question was clarified, Gillibrand replied, "Oh, NRG, the power plant. What do you want to know about the situation?"
When asked if she has been following the issue closely, Gillibrand said, "I have. We're working with all the constituencies to figure out what can be done. It's fundamentally important to the economy here, and so we're working towards a resolution. Our office has been involved as have the other Senate and Congressional offices."
Anyone wishing to contact Gillibrand about the impact of a disruption to the NRG Dunkirk facility may call her New York City office at (212) 688-6262, or fax a message to (866) 824-6340. According to her website, contacting by phone or by fax rather than via email will ensure they will be able to respond as quickly as possible. However, constituents may also write to her in care of her New York City Office, 780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601, New York, New York 10017 and a contact form is also available at www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact to email the office.
Other ways to make your voice heard on the issue include contacting Gov. Andrew Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 or e-mail at www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php and the Hon. Sheldon Silver at (518) 455-3791 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to send an email.
More information about NRG is also available at www.powerupwny.org which is a website provided by Powerup Western New York, a coalition of business, labor, civic and environmental groups focused on supporting smart, long-term energy projects in Western New York.
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