Cuomo opposes power line profits

NEW YORK - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) strongly objecting to a controversial proposal by New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) that would guarantee the company a 13.5% annual profit on its proposed transmission line.

"NYRI's request for an exorbitant guaranteed profit on its proposed transmission line is bad for New York consumers and bad for the environment," said Attorney General Cuomo. "My office is closely monitoring the actions of NYRI and the federal government. We will continue to take action to protect New Yorkers from the potential damaging economic and environmental impacts from this ill-conceived project."

NYRI's proposed transmission line would run from Utica to Orange County, extending nearly 200 miles through 43 towns and cities in New York. FERC controls what prices NYRI would be able to charge its customers for use of the line. On February 12, 2008, NYRI petitioned FERC for a guaranteed 13.5% annual profit on the NYRI line. If the petition is granted, it would structure the prices paid by NYRI's customers in a way to guarantee the companys investors an annual 13.5% rate of return on their investment. Ultimately, consumers would shoulder the economic burden if FERC allows NYRI to charge its customers higher prices. On May 13, 2008, FERC asked NYRI for more information on its petition, but has taken no final action on the petition.

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