Assemblywoman Russell: Bill Would Establish North Country Power Authority, Create Jobs and Save Money

June 9, 2009

A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D- Theresa) to create a Power Authority representing 24 towns in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties has passed the Assembly Corporations Committee (A.6694B). The authority, being advocated by the Alliance for Municipal Power (AMP), would give the North Country a better position in energy pricing, Russell said.

Russell’s legislation aims to provide more reliable service for North Country residents. Under the bill, the authority would purchase National Grid’s energy distribution system, allowing for a seamless transition while providing a solid footing for planned infrastructure improvements that would provide customers further savings.

As a non-profit organization, customers would be spared many of the taxes now assessed on their bills. The bill would also open the door for the authority to explore generating electricity independently. They would focus on the development of clean, renewable energy sources.

Russell added that numerous accountability and oversight measures written into the bill would ensure that the authority acts in the best interests of the North Country. “Putting our municipal energy needs in local hands will help ensure that our communities come first – not the bottom lines of energy giants.” Russell said.

Russell noted that the bill is the product of 10 years of hard work from AMP in conjunction with state and local leaders, including Senator Darrel Aubertine, Senator Joseph Griffo, former Senator Jim Wright, and Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava.

“I have been working intensely with the Alliance for Municipal Power to iron out the details of this bill,” Russell said. “I look forward to advancing this important legislation and giving our economy a valuable advantage in economic development.”