Cuomo Commission to Investigate Utilities

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice to represent Long Island on task force.

Following a chorus of boos over the Long Island Power Authority's management of the Superstorm Sandy recovery, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday launched a statewide commission to hold the state's utilities accountable for their performance.

Cuomo's commission, which will have the power to subpoena and examine witnesses under oath, will probe the preparation and management of state utilities in the wake of recent major weather events such as Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene and Tropical Strom Lee in 2011, which caused disastrous flooding in upstate New York.

The commission will then make recommendations to reform a system that is already plagued with operational overlaps between the New York Power Authority, LIPA, the Public Service Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, according to Cuomo's office.

"From Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, to Hurricane Sandy, over the past two years New York has experienced some of the worst natural disasters in our state's history," Cuomo said in a statement. “As we adjust to the reality of more frequent major weather incidents, we must study and learn from these past experiences to prepare for the future.”

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice will be the only Long Islander on the commission, whose other members include former state attorney general Robert Abrams, state financial services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, PSC chair Peter Bradford, Clarkson University president Tony Collins, former NYPA chair John Dyson, senior pastor of Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral Rev. Floyd Flake, former New York City public advocate Mark Green, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Tishman Construction Corp. CEO Dan Tishman.

Cuomo has already called the response of the state's utilities to massive outages wrought by Sandy a failure.

Frank November 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM
@ Lorraine. What's important is ELECT. You can chose someone with the experience (if they have it). right now, they're APPOINTED... There's a Dietitian on the board and the voters did not have a say. that's just plain wrong. As for competition, the State will not allow it unless they slap a tax increase to cover the notes for the Shoreham debt. They will not default.
pbug56 November 20, 2012 at 06:21 PM
People I know in Howard Beach got a FEMA check over the weekend. So if they are denying claims, it would likely be ones not properly documented or that don't meet its criteria. The people I know had damage not covered by insurance, and FEMA helped, though it did not cover all the repairs. In the one I mention, a claim was filed, and a FEMA inspector came in and in minutes made a determination.
Kristen November 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM
But that's the way to do things in Albany. Look at the Education Department and the mess that is in!
Joe November 20, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I think at this point LIPA should just buy everyone a generator and call it a day, this will never be fixed! Electricity independance!!!


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