Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

More Power

My favorite paper, the Syracuse Post-Standard, has yet again revealed the corrupt underbelly of New York's idiotic subsidies. This time, it's the New York Power Authority. On the heels of the state's lawsuits over Empire State Development grants that went out to job cutters, the Post Standard went after another Pataki sacred cow.

The New York Power Authority was created to ease the pain of energy prices for businesses. In exchange for lower energy prices, companies are yet again promise to keep or create jobs. When those jobs don't materialize, New York is reluctant to publicize its failure by suing for the money back.

Using the Power Authority's own figures, it spent $85 million to "save" or create 300,000 jobs. This comes out to about $300 per job. At least it would if there was any correlation between grants and job creation.

One really sad prospect is that this power authority has little to do with power. It gives out money. For example, if that $85 million were used to build wind turbines, they could produce about 60 Megawatts of power. With New York's class 4 wind speeds along the Thruway and an assumed 25% rough capacity factor, the system could produce 149 GWh a year with a potential cost savings of $5 million annually.

So, who should get this reduced power? How about whoever pays for it? New York could sell it for just under the market rate and cut business taxes for everyone. At the very least, the state could use it for government offices to lower costs directly.

Setting up a massive alternate power project could force New York power companies to lower their prices. And lets not forget the jobs that would be created by that project. Instead of throwing money down a well, costs would get lower every year from a renewable energy plant. Even if I don't approve of tax money being thrown away on voodoo job creation, I'd rather my $5 share of the program go to something that could net a return. Besides, we could get those federal subsidies.


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