Cuomo’s Green Policies to Blame for New York Power Failures

‘Cuomo telling Con Ed that it needs to improve its reliability is like an arsonist telling the fire department to buy more pumper trucks…’

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(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Following two power outages in New York City, the state’s power grid will undergo increased strain in the coming months and year, warns Robert Bryce, an energy expert at the Manhattan Institute.

In an op-ed for Crain’s New York Business, Bryce said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made “political decisions” that endanger the state’s energy infrastructure.

Cuomo blamed Con Ed for being unreliable, arguing that the city is playing “Russian roulette” with its energy provider.

“Cuomo telling Con Ed that it needs to improve its reliability is like an arsonist telling the fire department to buy more pumper trucks,” Bryce wrote.

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A few decisions particularly scare Bryce, including the planned 2021 closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant, which provides about 25 percent of the energy used in New York City.

Bryce said the Indian Point’s closure will make New York’s power grid less reliable and stable.

The New York Independent System Operator agrees with Bryce.

Keeping the Indian Point nuclear plant open should be considered imperative for those concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

“Retaining all existing nuclear generators is critical to the state’s carbon emission reduction requirements as well as maintaining electric system reliability,” NYISO said.

Bryce said Cuomo has blocked natural gas pipelines, forcing the state to double its reliance on gas-fired electricity since 2004. Closing the Indian Point nuclear plant will make that reliance even greater.

Plus, New York has adopted the Climate and Community Protection Act, which mandates 100 percent carbon-free energy sources by 2040.

“Forcing the electric grid to rely more heavily on intermittent sources such as solar and wind will put yet more stress on the grid, particularly during extreme weather,” Bryce said.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks it could be time for the city to nationalize energy utilities.

“We don’t depend on a private company for water or for policing or for fire protection,” de Blasio said Monday during a press conference, according to Bloomberg. “If they can’t handle the job, it’s time to look at new alternatives.”

Socializing the city or state’s utilities will not change the fact, according to Bryce, that renewable energy sources, especially without nuclear energy, cannot yet support modern electrical needs.

“Cuomo can blame Con Ed all he likes,” Bryce said. “But by rushing the overhaul of New York’s grid, he’s making the Russian roulette blackout game even more dangerous.”