YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Even as the snow from this past weekend’s storm melts away, local politicians aren’t letting what they feel is a lack of adequate response from power company NYSEG drift from their agenda.
State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C- Patterson) said he wants to hold a hearing to examine why NYSEG had what he and others said was an unsatisfactory response to the snowstorm. He also announced plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit the foreign-owned company from operating utility services in New York State. NYSEG is owned by Iberdrola S.A., an energy company based in Spain.
“This is not a third-world country,” Ball said at a press conference in front of Yorktown Town Hall Friday. “These companies need to begin to more immediately respond to abandoned customers struggling for basic answers and information. It is unacceptable for our utility companies to be owned by foreign companies. This begs for an independent hearing and investigation into slow response times and vulnerability of our infrastructure.”
According to Ball, in September 2008 NYSEG was one of two companies bought by Iberdrola S.A., a company based in Spain, and since that time there has been drastic degradation in service now that the company is foreign-owned.
Yorktown councilmen Terrence Murphy, Nick Bianco and Jim Martorano spoke at the press conference to agree that NYSEG needed to be investigated. Bianco and Martorano have suggested that the company needs to no longer work in Yorktown since their work and responses are always so unsatisfactory, according to the councilmen. Both councilmen have said NYSEG needs to get out of the business if they are not willing to work effectively, remarks which earned applause from many power-less residents in the audience. They were joined by Lewisboro Supervisor Charlie Duffy, whose town was especially hard-hit by the pre-Halloween snowstorm, and Assemblyman Steve Katz.
“The problem is there’s not enough of them working, that’s one problem,” said Katz. “A terrible discrepancy is in the amount of accurate reporting that we get from NYSEG and information from NYSEG that we have gotten from Con Ed. There should be some accounting for this, I absolutely on the assembly side agree that we’re going to be looking into NYSEG and the reason why the power came down the way it has and what they did about it.”
All those in attendance credited those who did work to restore power after the storm, but said the time it took for people to get power back, especially when some still don’t almost a week after the storm just isn’t acceptable.
“This is about accountability,” Murphy said. “We support the Senator and Assemblyman Katz for trying to do a full investigation on what is going on with NYSEG, and what their ongoing proposition is going to be for us on how they are going to be able to get us up to speed and put our power on in a much much better and faster way.”