BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Chamber Corner

Support NRG repowering Contact the PSC now

By TODD TRANUM

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

Not only is repowering the NRG plant in Dunkirk good for Chautauqua County and Western New York, it is good for the entire state and for the northeast region of our country. NRG has proposed an investment of $700 million to convert the existing coal-fired plant to a natural gas plant; a move that would continue to provide electric power generation, improve the environment, preserve and create jobs, and lead the way in continued economic re-investment and tax stabilization in our region.

It is estimated that the project will reduce the annual wholesale cost of electric energy for New York consumers by $142 million per year. Very importantly, the project will reduce New York’s reliance on out-of-state generation of power, bringing value to the entire state.

Environmentally, re-powering the Dunkirk plant to operate by cleaner-burning natural gas rather than coal will substantially decrease emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gases.

The NRG plant is the single largest taxpayer in Chautauqua County. Loss of the facility would be economically devastating to the city of Dunkirk, the Dunkirk School District and to the entire county. The loss of the tax base would undermine any potential for rebuilding the city of Dunkirk and providing high-quality education. If Western New York is to thrive economically, businesses need access to cost-effective and reliable power. The NRG Dunkirk repowering project will help provide both cost-effective and reliable energy solution to consumers while also helping maintain the tax base and contributing significantly to the regional economy.

It is important to note that repowering projects and the development of transmission infrastructure are not mutually exclusive options. The reality is that we need both. New York state can control its energy destiny by permitting investments that enhance transmission and keep New York state in the business of manufacturing energy.

In order for the project to move forward, the Public Service Commission must vote to allow the NRG repowering. This is a time for all businesses and residents in Chautauqua County to make their voices heard on this issue. Please write to the PSC now. You can send support letters to: Chairman Garry A. Brown & Acting Secretary Jeffrey Cohen, NYS Public Service Commission, Agency Bldg. 3, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223. Please reference Case # 12-E-0577. In addition, you may send comments and concerns to Hon. Andrew Cuomo, Governor, New York state, Executive Chamber, NYS Capitol, Albany, NY 12224. If you prefer to email, you can find a link directly to the PSC’s comment page for this case on the Chamber’s website at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Experience Chautauqua with a County Fair preview

Once again this year, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will provide its members with a preview of the Chautauqua County Fair. This special Chamber networking event is scheduled for Thursday, July 18 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

This event is sponsored for Chamber members by DFT Communications, Fredonia Place, GPI Greenman-Pederson, Jamestown Jammers Baseball, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal.

The cost is $8 for pre-registered guests, or $10 for walk-ins. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org, or call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

Chamber Golf Tournament Aug. 15

The 2013 Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 at Peek’n Peak. This year’s event offers golfers a chance to play on the Peek’s Upper Course – a championship caliber course which offers optimum playing conditions in a spectacular setting. In addition, each team can choose whether they want to play a scramble or a two best ball format this year.

The Chamber Golf Tournament is being sponsored this year by DFT Communications, Community Bank NA, Cummins, Inc., Fredonia Place, GHD Consulting Engineers, Greater Woodlawn FCU, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley-Tradition LLC, National Fuel Gas, Ed Shults Chevrolet, Inc., the OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. For more information or to register, visit the Chamber website at www.chautauquachamber.org, or call 484-1101 or 366-6200.

Hanover Chamber Business After Hours

The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business After Hours event at Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill in Irving on Thursday, June 27 beginning at 5 p.m. All Chamber members and their guests are invited. The cost is $5 per person and will include fun, food, a cash bar, drink specials and music after 7 p.m. Pre-registration is not required.