Gov. Andrew Cuomo is refining the law guiding New York State on what is required to revoke a franchise from an energy provider while taking aim at PSEG Long Island and other utilities for a sluggish response to Tropical Storm Isaias.
The state Department of Financial Services will also be conducting an investigation into the response effort, still ongoing, as well as withhold a $10 million performance bonus included in PSEG’s contract with the state. The state Department of Public Service will be issuing violations to PSEG-LI, Con Edison, and other utility providers.
“After this tropical storm, they’re not receiving that bonus,” Cuomo said. “Frankly, we’ve gone through this situation too many times, and I have personally been on-site at these emergencies… But the service we pay them for is in that precise instance. That’s what we pay them for.”
After striking the island on Aug.4, Tropical Storm Isaias left more than 420,000 homes and businesses without power on LI, some for more than a week, in what was seen as one of the company’s first major tests since taking over for the Long Island Power Authority after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The new law proposed by Cuomo will not only give the state the ability to expedite the revocation process but will clarify who owns infrastructure paid for by account-holders of those companies. Cabling for example, could be wrapped up in litigation over ownership and responsibility.
“At the end of the day we represent the people of the state and they’ve been paying these bills for many years, and they’re not going to pay twice if there’s a revocation,” Cuomo added.
Attempts to reach PSEG were unsuccessful.
This story first appeared on amny.com