End partnership with council

It is time for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce to end its affiliation with the Business Council of New York State.

Last week, in a stunning and unexpected announcement, the council announced its disapproval for the $500 million private investment plan to repower the NRG Dunkirk facility. The project, proposed last July, aims to convert the power plant from coal to natural gas in producing electricity.

But it needs the support of the Public Service Commission and New York state before that can happen. It does not have the council’s support.

“The (Public Service) Commission should reject the current repowering proposals which runs counter to New York’s now dynamic and competitive energy market where capital costs and associated risks for conventional projects are borne by the developer, not by the ratepayer,” Heather C. Briccetti, president and chief executive officer of The Business Council of New York State, said. “Energy market forces and design have already provided New York consumers with cleaner, more reliable generation, and historically lower wholesale electricity costs.”

The Business Council, in this statement, has ended its partnership with the chamber while defying its own mission statement: “Working to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.”

A repowering of NRG is exactly what the council’s mission statement means to Dunkirk and Chautauqua County.