Maziarz opposes downstate hydropower 'hijack'

State Sen. George D. Maziarz on Thursday said he would strongly oppose any move to shift low-cost "preference power" produced in Western New York away from upstate communities to be sent to Long Island.

"I will defeat this effort, even if I have to clip the extension cord to Long Island personally," said Maziarz, R-Newfane.

He spoke in response to legislation introduced by Assemblymen Al Graf, a Long Island Republican, which would eliminate the section of the Public Authorities law that prohibits the Long Island Power Authority from accessing low-cost hydropower from NYPA.

"This legislation is just the latest in a long line of attempts to hijack Western New York hydropower and ship it downstate," Maziarz said. "Like the ill-advised power allocation to Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2009, this proposal looks to help Long Island by pilfering upstate power."

Preference power, which is roughly 700 megawatts generated at the Niagara Power Project, is currently used to assist municipal electric corporations and rural cooperatives based largely in upstate New York. These customers receive power at a much cheaper rate than it would otherwise cost to obtain from the investor owned utilities, Maziarz said.

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