Even NY doesn't want to copy the NY Power Authority's economic incentives program! (Why would NC?)

This is an email I sent  to the entire Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission (URRC), with a follow up from and to Nancy Gottovi of Central Park NC regarding the NY Power Authority, which takeover proponents have been using as a model which NC should emulate.  The NY Citizens Budget Commission doesn't even think New York should continue this program!

On Mar 5, 2012, at 9:51 PM, Ann Brownlee wrote:

Commissioners:

As you are aware, the Stanly County Commissioners, State Senator Fletcher Hartsell, Central Park NC, the Yadkin Riverkeeper, the NC Commerce Secretary, and others have been extolling the benefits which the citizens of NC would gain if the State took over Alcoa's project and used the model of the NY Power Authority (NYPA) to provide low-cost power as an economic development incentive. They've been basing this on a report done by NC's Commerce Department, which I found on the Stanly County website: http://www.co.stanly.nc.us/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mwAnhMxJ7R0%3d....

One of the sources the NC Commerce Department cited was a study done by NY's Citizens Budget Commission in September 2009. The basic gist of that report was kept from the public!  That report recommended that New York should move away from subsidizing power!

http://www.cbcny.org/sites/default/files/report_nypa_09222009.pdf

I am dumbfounded, beyond being able to say that I find this intentional withholding of information from the public both unbelievable and indefensible.  This argument was used to drive away the Clean Tech jobs!

I trust that you will act at once to responsibly inform the public of the information which has been withheld from them.

Ann Brownlee

From: Nancy Gottovi
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: Recomendation of NY Citizens Budget Commission

Thank you Ann, for sending the link, but that's not at all what the study says.  

The study says that the current economic development programs should be overhauled to promote better economic development tools, including new programs that assist businesses with their power needs.  It specifically cites the problems with "firm specific incentive programs " including the one program that has Alcoa as its sole beneficiary, citing that allocating so much cheap power to one company is in conflict with the state's energy efficiency goals. "Firms that are inefficient in their power use are weighted equally in selection to those that may be highly efficient."

Among the recommendations are 1) ensuring the funds generated by the program remain dedicated to state economic development goals, 2) investing the funds in energy funds improvements it would otherwise not be able to afford, 2)  higher priority for high tech and clean tech industries, and 4) linking energy efficiency and economic development goals.

It's actually quite a good report, and I highly recommend reading it carefully if you have not already. CPNC fully supports using the subsidized power to promote state and regional energy efficiency goals by supporting cleaner, less polluting businesses than Alcoa.

Cheers, Nancy
 
From: Ann Brownlee
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:23 PM
Subject: Re: Recomendation of NY Citizens Budget Commission

Nancy,
 
That is exactly what the study says, in black and white, both in the Executive Summary, and, in more detail, throughout the remainder of the report.

Three Problems with NYPA's Economic Development Programs
Despite the popularity of these programs with businesses and the legislators who have repeatedly renewed them, three major problems characterize subsidizing power for economic development purposes.
1. NYPA's programs do not support New York's energy goals.
2. NYPA's programs are not connected to strategic economic development goals.
3. NYPA's disclosure of the nature and cost of the economic development programs it oversees is insufficient.

Recommendations
New York should move away from subsidizing power. State leaders should overhaul NYPA's economic development programs using four guidelines:
1. Phase out current programs.
2. Include assistance for firms with high energy costs as part of a comprehensive economic development strategy administered by Empire State Development.
3. Sell power no longer used for economic development at market rates.
4. Link energy conservation and economic development goals and programs.

I’d probably have to say I’m not surprised that you are defending your indefensible actions of withholding very material information from the public, but I did harbor some slim hope of decency.   An awful lot of people are absolutely fed up with the inaccurate information you, Dean Naujoks, Fletcher Hartsell, Keith Crisco, Stanly County, and others have promulgated on a trusting public.  If you can’t make your point without relying on misinformation, then the point shouldn’t be made at all.  You all have an obligation to communicate responsibly.  This latest example is certainly the most egregious, since it was used to drive jobs away from Badin.  That didn’t hurt Alcoa.  It hurt the people of Badin!

Ann
 

Views: 263

Tags: alcoa, central park nc, economic development, ny power authority, takeover, urrc, uwharrie regional resources commission, yadkin

Comment by Whigkid on April 3, 2012 at 8:10pm

Here's a video by the  Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG), the WNY Area Labor Federation, and the Niagara-Orleans Central Labor Council publicizing problems with the NY Power Authority's economic development incentives:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds02c-pgNWc .  Here's the 79-page report which goes with it:  Generating Waste: Problems with the NYPA and the IDAs and How to So....  (IDAs are Industrial Development Agencies.)

Fletcher Hartsell, Nancy Gottovi, Dean Naujoks and friends touted the NYPA economic development incentives as the panacea to NC's ills when they opposed the Clean Tech jobs for Badin.  Now we find there is significant criticism of their model program in its own state.

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