Chamber joins criticism of Business Council

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has joined three state senators in their criticism of the state Business Council after it joined the Sierra Club in calling for cleaner solutions to replace the Dunkirk and Cayuga coal plants.

“The Business Council of New York State is clearly out of touch with the economic challenges faced by Western New York.” stated Todd Tranum, President/CEO of the Chautauqua County Cham-ber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier. “On behalf of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Comm-erce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, I am expressing our extreme disappointment that the Business Council of New York State has positioned itself against the Power Up Western New York efforts.

“In February of this year, we met with the Business Council here in Chautauqua County and this critically important project was part of our discussion with them as we requested their help in advocating for the Power Up Project in Albany. Clearly they were not here to listen. They were here to push their own agenda and generate membership. Their position on this project lacks factual basis and clearly was inadequately researched. I can’t begin to express how disappointed we are with the Business Council.

“We need a balanced investment in both transmission and power generation infrastructure in New York, this should not be an either-or discussion. We know there is demand for the power. For example, the state is permitting projects, such as the Champlain Hudson Power Express, to move forward bringing 1,000 megawatts of power from Canada to New York City. Clearly we need the power generating capacity and the ability to transmit the power to where the demand exists.

“The Repower Project brings significant opportunity to Western New York, including state-of-the-art clean energy capability that could feed that demand and demand elsewhere in New York State. We have an opportunity secure $1 billion dollars investment in Upstate New York, create over 1,000 construction jobs, retain the jobs provided by the power plants, continue the reduction air pollution and support our tax base.

“We greatly appreciate the work of Senator Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Senator George Maziarz and Senator Mike Nozziolo and County Executive Greg Edwards for their continued hard work and effort on the Power Up Project. We will continue our efforts in support of the critically important Repower Project.”