Coalition Pushes Public Power

Oswego, NY – Advocates for publicly owned power are hoping they have an ally in the new administration in Syracuse.

The Public Power Coalition in central New York said it met with Syracuse University development law experts, as well as power companies like the New York Power Authority. Now it is offering a written proposal for what it says would be cheap public power in Syracuse.

Thomas Dellwo is an organizer with the Public Power Coalition. He said the village of Solvay already uses public power, so the idea of municipal-owned energy is not new.

"This is not unprecedented, cities of our size and larger have done this. Sacramento had an investor owned utility like we do, and they're a bit larger than us, so it's definitely a possibility. It's going to be a matter of whether the administration is willing to take some risks and put this in a priority level," said Dellwo.

Dellwo said central New Yorkers could get cheaper energy directly through the New York Power Authority, if they could cut out middlemen, like energy supplier National Grid.

Meanwhile, North Country residents in Franklin and Saint Lawrence counties are one step closer to having a public power system.

A bill that would establish the North Country Power Authority has passed the state Senate by a vote of 53 to 3.

Advocates say a municipal power system would save residents and businesses money. 24 townships would be affected.