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Thursday, January 23, 2014
State Sen. George Maziarz, chairman of the Energy and Telecommunication Committee, is pushing the state's public service commission to move forward with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's siting process for transmission lines to get upgrades as soon as possible.

Maziarz, R-Newfane, said in a press release posted on his website that the state hasn't had a major transmission project in over 25 years, adding that 85 percent of our power transmission infrastructure was built prior to 1980.

"Due to the problems inherent in an older system, we cannot transfer power effectively from abundant upstate generation resources to the New York City market, where prices and demand are high," Maziarz said. "This scenario threatens upstate generation jobs and causes massive system congestion that increases energy rates across our state by $650 million a year. This means higher utility bills for individuals and businesses."

Maziarz said that power transmission upgrades will generate more than $7 billion in economic activity in the state and will create 12,000 direct and nearly 38,000 total jobs. It will also reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 370,000 tons and 200,000 tons respectively.

"These transmission projects are good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for working men and women in our state," he said. "However, time and again steel-in-the-ground economic development projects that would benefit our state have been stymied in the regulatory process or succumbed under pressure from special interests. We simply cannot let that happen this time."

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