On January 20th, Legislator Bridget Fleming spoke in front of the LIPA Commission on the future possibility of municipalization of LIPA affirming “a true public power authority can meet important goals Long Island ratepayers deserve for renewable energy and reliability and save more than $75 million dollars.”
Through Leg. Fleming’s advocacy in recent years, the Suffolk County Legislature assisted The Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife in launching the Long Island Solar Map, to drive investment in mid to large-scale solar energy development, and produced a Community Choice Aggregation Task Force Report, filed in proceedings of the Department of Public Service to increase retail competition for electricity, to reduce costs and cut fossil fuel emissions. These are just two examples of initiatives being explored by governments and private industry across Long Island that demonstrate the public's heightened concern for reliable, cost-effective electric power, that will reduce fossil fuel emissions, and have the potential of providing electricity that is less tied to rate pressure created by commodity markets.
At the hearing, Leg. Fleming urged that through a transition process, certain aspects of the current governance be maintained. For example. she noted the importance of ensuring the protection of utility workers throughout the system as a particular effort to uphold workers’ expectations regarding wages and working conditions, and maintain bargained-for pension and benefit plans.
“It is time to decouple our utility from the constraints of its unique history, and instead bring it in line with best practices for utilities across the country and around the globe,” commented Leg. Fleming. Billions of dollars of support for forward-thinking projects will soon be available to the Suffolk County region, from New York’s Environmental Bond Act, and the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act, for infrastructure to build our economy, advance science, and reduce and mitigate climate change impacts.
Featured: Legislator Fleming speaking at the Public Hearing held by the NYS Commission on the Future of LIPA in Southampton