1/7/13

Moreland Commission to PSC: Tighten up on Utilities

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo established the Moreland Commission to investigate the storm preparation and response efforts of the state's utility companies.

The Commission issued its preliminary recommendations today, finding that, due to weak oversight by the state Public Service Commission (PSC), New York's six utilities and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) operate as virtually unregulated monopolies within their territories.

To correct this, the Commission has recommended increased oversight of utilities to make them more accountable in the future.

The recommendations include authorizing the PSC to impose bigger fines and penalties on utilities; mandating and reviewing emergency storm plans; auditing utilities’ management, operations and rate increase requests; and hiring more trained staff at the PSC.

The Commission found that a dysfunctional management structure at LIPA -- and the utility's having ignored years of recommendations by the PSC -- caused a breakdown in operations and communications in the storm's aftermath.

The Commission recommended that LIPA be privatized (eliminated).

Click here to view the presentation and learn more about the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

More from the Albany Times-Union.

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