Is Politics Affecting Operations Of NYS Independent System Operator?

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) has come under blistering criticism for their extraordinary imposition of a $114 million bill for re-hooking Dunkirk’s power plant back into the grid.

“We need to shine the light of accountability on the NYISO,” it’s been observed, noting that the move by NYISO is being done in the dark corners without the oversight of our legislature or even our governor.”

But wait! Even our governor? Isn’t this $114 million penalty to re-connect NRG Energy to the grid pure Governor Cuomo? And his chief bully, energy czar Richard Kauffman?

Recall the public humiliation Kauffman inflicted on NYISO’s chief executive, Brad Jones, when last year NYISO’s annual report said that if the governor wants to realize his “Clean Energy Standard” (CES) of 50 percent ‘renewables’ by 2030, he’s going to have to install over a thousand new miles of bulk transmission lines, a project that would take at least 10 years, a hugely expensive project. Just saying, Jones said.

Cuomo blew his top; so did Kauffman. NYISO had blundered, perhaps inadvertently, by exposing one of the giant hidden subsidies necessary for the Cuomo’s CES plan. Huge overground transmission lines criss-crossing the State to accommodate the governor would be even more unpopular than forcing giant wind turbines on rural New York. It was left to Kauffman to cut Brad Jones down.

In an open letter, Kauffman accused Brad Jones and his NYISO report as “misleading, incomplete, and grossly inaccurate…revealing an alarming lack of developed analysis into the imperative to address climate change…” Kauffman accused Jones of protecting fossil fuel generators and said that he was “dismayed by [Jones’] public comments. We want and expect better…” Jones knows who “We” is. He’s the governor. One year later, NYISO issued another report, “2018 Power Trends” which attempts more cautiously to provide “options” to comply with the governor’s CES dictate: ‘incentives for fast-ramping fossil fuel plants [unpredictable, uncontrollable wind energy requires around-the-clock augmentation from a fast-ramping source, usually gas], a price on carbon [CO2 emissions, a program meant to penalize the remaining fossil fuel industry, using the penalty money to prop up the ‘renewable’ system], fine-tuning the capacity market…’

Until Cuomo, it’s safe to say that NYISO, on the energy front lines, was fulfilling its science-based objective of ensuring NY electricity users with the cheapest, most reliable, safest energy. But with Cuomo’s CES plan, ‘cheapest’ is out; so is ‘most reliable’. Safest is debatable. With Cuomo’s executive order, NYISO is being forced to change its mandate. In other words, its been corrupted to fulfill the Cuomo-Kauffman plan. This must go down hard with NYISO executives, mostly who have backgrounds in electrical and mechanical engineering, who are being forced to cripple the energy system they are responsible for, and then will be blamed for when blackouts and breakdowns occur as a result of the Cuomo-Kauffman CES plan. Or is it the Kauffman-Cuomo plan?

Gov. Cuomo made Richard Kauffman head of NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). NYSERDA is an energy-advocacy agency, largely staffed with with ‘environmentalists’ like Kauffman himself, who sits on the board of Wildlife Conservation Society). Next, Cuomo made Kauffman his ‘energy czar’ in charge of NY’s “entire energy portfolio, including the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, and NYSERDA). The Cuomo-Kauffman team set up a bank, called the ‘Green Bank’, with a billion dollars of tax money which Kauffman, as chairman of Energy and Finance, disburses to banks. As Kauffman was a Goldman Sachs partner and has a masters degree in ‘public-private partnerships from Yale, he’s in the perfect spot to kick off the subsidy process using public money to pay for so-called renewable energy.

The NYISO $114 million hook-up charge was done with no oversight by the legislature, but moving furtively in the dark are the governor and his energy czar.

Roy Harvey is a resident of Mayville.

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