OBSERVER Staff Report
Following an announcement Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding the conversion of NRG in Dunkirk from coal to natural gas, a group of environmental organizations are filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court. They are seeking access to documents related to what they call "backroom deals" over the fate of the local powerplant as well as the Cayuga plant in Tompkins County.
On Sunday, Cuomo, in a personal visit to Dunkirk, announced a $650 million agreement to convert NRG to natural gas.
A press release was sent out Friday from Kate Ray with Rabinowitz Communications in Washington, D.C. on behalf of an organization called Earthjustice. In the press release it states the Public Service Commission has yet to receive a final written proposal from plant operators. "Moreover, critical documents related to the conversion plans have been withheld from the public, despite repeated requests from the groups involved," the release states.
"The governor's announcement that a deal has been made before the proposal has even been written and reviewed by the Public Service Commission demonstrates a flagrant abuse of authority, and is the latest example of the flawed public process that our lawsuit aims to challenge said Tompkins County Legislator Carol Chock in the news release. "Converting these plants to natural gas would lock the region into continued use of fossil fuels and could hike electricity bills for people and businesses across a 20-county region in western and central New York."
See the full story in Saturday's OBSERVER.