Here's a Somewhat Threatening Letter Andrew Cuomo Sent To Utility CEOs

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Nearly 600,000 New Yorkers still are without power after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Big Apple earlier this week, and Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be a little pissed off.

The governor sent a letter to the CEOs and presidents of seven utility companies telling them -- in no uncertain terms -- that he plans to hold them accountable for their preparation (or lack thereof) for the storm, which he apparently thinks is the reason so many people still are without electricity.

"If you failed to prepare, however, as evidenced by your response, it is a failure to keep your part of the bargain - a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York State; in particular, the certificates of public convenience and necessity ("Certificate") granted by the State under the Public Service Law," Cuomo says in his letter. "New Yorkers should not suffer because electric utilities did not reasonably prepare for this eventuality. In the context of the ongoing emergency, such a failure constitutes a breach of the public trust."

See Cuomo's letter below.

November 1, 2012

Mr. Kevin Burke, Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc.
4 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-3598

Mr. William Longhi, President & Chief Executive Officer
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River, NY 10965

Mr. James Laurito, President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Mr. Mark S. Lynch, President
Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. & New York State Electric & Gas Corp.
89 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14649

Mr. Ken Daly, Chief Operating Officer
National Grid - NY
One Metro Tech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Mr. Thomas B. King, President
National Grid, USA
201 Jones Road - 5th Fl.
Waltham, MA 02451-1120

Mr. Michael Hervey, Chief Operating Officer
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 403
Uniondale, NY 11553


Dear Gentlemen:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are faced with responding to its continued harsh impacts on literally every facet of life. I recognize there are men and women in the field now working hard to restore service, and we are grateful for their efforts. But it is your job to provide them with adequate resources and support to get the job done in a timely and safe manner. Utilities, like elected officials, are vested with the public's trust. In the case of utilities, in exchange for conducting business and generating profits for their shareholders, they are entrusted to provide safe and adequate utility service. When they fail to keep the public's trust, they must answer.

Because we had several days' notice of an event of catastrophic proportions, State and local government and New Yorkers prepared for an impending storm. Indeed, the public depended on utilities to prepare for such an event, respond to emergencies and to return, as quickly as possible, to providing safe and adequate electricity. The response of your companies to this emergency will be, in great part, a function of how well you prepared for it and a testament to how seriously you view this responsibility.

If you failed to prepare, however, as evidenced by your response, it is a failure to keep your part of the bargain - a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York State; in particular, the certificates of public convenience and necessity ("Certificate") granted by the State under the Public Service Law. New Yorkers should not suffer because electric utilities did not reasonably prepare for this eventuality. In the context of the ongoing emergency, such a failure constitutes a breach of the public trust.

Under such circumstances, I would direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your Certificates. With respect to the Long Island Power Authority, I will make every change necessary to ensure it lives up to its public responsibility. It goes without saying that such failures would warrant the removal of the management responsible for such colossal misjudgments.

Sincerely,

ANDREW M. CUOMO


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12 comments
nalfonso72
nalfonso72

I just finished speaking with a rep from Housing Authority (718) 707-7771 to get information on when will the water be restored to my elderly parents who live on 205 Ave C, Campos Plaza and was told this " Since your parents didnt evacuate before the storm, it is not our problem, this housing project is listed as uninhabitable at the moment and is not a priority on our list. We have no idea when the water will be restore"

stevenkinney
stevenkinney

The power issue is less about Manhattanites not being able to get on Twitter and more to do with the families freezing in darkness in Rockaway, Broad Channel, and Staten Island. Those families have been working day and night to rebuild their lives without any power or heat. I've been to Rockaway and Breezy Point and it's an absolute warzone. Cars piled three high; 128 blocks of boardwalk tossed throughout the peninsula; city blocks burned to the ground.

 

The argument that because Katrina and the Haitian earthquake were tragic events means that New Yorkers are not allowed to expect that those events would inform local power authorities is feeble at best. Those situations were terrible, but not a reason that New Yorkers who have lost their entire lives should suffer in the name of toughness.

 

It's not just about possessions. Bodies are being pulled from houses in Staten Island. Rockaway is covered in raw sewage. There is no food for thousands of people. Cuomo is standing up for the people who put their trust in him. He has the ability and the power to act in the state he is governor of. It's not a reflection of his feelings on other disasters.

 

There is a certain irony to anonymous posters on the Internet criticizing people in the wake of a natural disaster for not having power for their computers. Stay classy.

 

http://www.redcross.org/support

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

I agree with "guest" below...the one horrible part of this is that lives were lost and that's certainly a tragedy. But Americans (in general) are so fucking entitled. "How dare a hurricane take away my ability to tweet." Over 1400 died during Katrina...but they were mostly black, so who cares right? And 220,000 died in Haiti!! People on TV whining about lost possessions...ridiculous.

guest
guest

I thought New Yorkers were supposed to be "tough" lmao.   All this fucking entitled whining about no power.  Give me a break.  Check your entitlement, you oh-so-hard new yorkers.  

schmoe
schmoe

cuomo's an asshole.

obeyvonlmo
obeyvonlmo

I wonder if these guys will form a massive utility PAC to defeat Andy when he runs for 2016 POTUS. Andy sems to be daring them to do it.

IJLAYK
IJLAYK

I get it, they didn't prepare. But do we really need to steer anyone's focus away from the job at hand right now? Let them focus 100% on getting people their power back, then slap their hands.

M-eh
M-eh

 @epac666 Right, Hurricane Katrina got no coverage. people are "whining" on TV about being homeless, about losing everything. Go fuck yourself, moron.

M-eh
M-eh

 @guest We're talking about hospitals, schools, essential entities having power, you oh-so-hard internet bad-ass. Shut the fuck up.

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

 @M-eh

.

No need for name calling, especially when you've missed my point.

 

It's not about "coverage". I agree that one death or one destoyed house is one too many. The point I was trying to make is that losing a family heirloom, or having no power for several days (which is what the majority of people are complaining about) does NOT constitute a true tragedy.

 

Death IS a tragedy, and from that SPECIFIC perspective, we emerged from Sandy with faw fewer casualties than others (like New Orleans) have had to contend with.

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