Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, today helped pass part of what he calls a fiscally responsible, on-time state budget, laying the foundation for a stronger statewide economy and helping Western New York families. Ceretto positively noted that the final budget would create the new Western New York Power Allocation Board.
"The creation of the Western New York Power Allocation Board is a huge win for Niagara County residents and ratepayers. The new board can ensure that our home-grown energy resources are used more effectively to lower energy costs for residents and local job creators," Ceretto said. "It also gives us greater control over our energy future, allowing us to transform the economy of Niagara Falls."
The Western New York Power Allocation Board will consist of five unpaid members, three appointed by the governor and one each by the State Senate and Assembly. Each legislative appointment, and one executive appointment, must live within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara Power Project located in Lewiston.
"This new board will ensure local representation in the region's energy production and will help make certain that this power is used to lower energy prices for our homeowners and businesses," Ceretto said. "By using excess power to cut the costs of heating, cooling and lighting a home, we can make our region a more attractive place to own and operate a business, which will, in turn, help create new, long-term jobs."
The budget bill authorizing the Western New York Power Allocation Board also streamlines the new board's ability to fund programs through the new Western New York Power Allocation Fund and requires that projects receiving the funding be within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara Power Project.
"This bill not only gives us greater control over our energy resources, but also lets us choose our economic destiny rather than have our destiny choose us," Ceretto said. "By replacing a historically downstate energy regulatory board with a local one, we have shifted the balance in our favor. Today, Western New York has set forth a policy that will energize our economy for generations to come."