Keeping NRG in Dunkirk

What will losing NRG mean to Dunkirk, Fredonia and everyone in Chautauqua County?

I spoke recently with state Sen. Catharine Young about the pros and cons of NRG vs. National Grid and what it would mean to the residents and taxpayers of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County should NRG leave.

The following is what she had to say.

NRG needs to stay in Dunkirk. This is the largest taxpayer in the county. We need everyone to turn out for a public hearing scheduled at Fredonia State’s Williams Center Multi-Purpose Room on Monday. Presentations by National Grid and NRG with a question and answer period will be given from 6 to 7 p.m., and the hearing will begin at 7 p.m. An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing, and people from the audience will be allowed to testify.

If you want the facts, here they are:

National Grid and NRG each responded to the Public Service Commission’s request.

The information provided by National Grid was incomplete; they only extended the information to cover the years through 2021 NRG’s application extended the agreement through 2025.

National Grid reported that their proposal to upgrade the system would cost $66 million, when in actuality it would cost $200 million. The $200 million it will cost National Grid to upgrade their system will also give them a return on their investment of 9.2 percent. NRG’s upgrade is privately funded, and there will be no additional costs to the consumer.

National Grid does not produce electricity; they are a transmitter of electricity. NRG does produce electricity and will continue to supply the area.

National Grid will get the electricity from out of state and therefore will not be subject to the environmental regulations and concerns that NRG has complied with. The electricity transmitted by National Grid will most likely come from Pennsylvania.

Should NRG leave the area, the taxpayer in Dunkirk will see their city taxes increase by 42 percent, their school taxes will go up 48 percent and they will see an increase in their county taxes by 7 percent. Additionally, 58 Dunkirk school teachers will lose their jobs.

Who is on the side of National Grid?

Those who are going to profit directly, and that does not include the taxpayer or resident of Chautauqua County.

Don’t allow National Grid to hijack the county. Those of us in Western New York need to stand up now.

It is believed that members of the Sierra Club and Green Peace plan to attend the meeting to voice their opinions about the potential of hydro-fracking in New York this is not an issue in this situation!

Your support and attendance is needed at the upcoming meeting on Monday at Fredonia State University. We must save our community, and that means saving NRG.

Vicki Westling is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com