Cuomo, At Drum, Praises Energy Plant
On a trip to the north country Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the 'biomass' energy plant on Fort Drum.
Cuomo toured the facility and announced he's sending a letter of support for the plant to the Department of Defense.
ReEnergy Holdings, the company that owns the plant, plans to sell the electricity the plant makes to Fort Drum.
The plant is an old coal plant that's being converted to burn waste wood. It's expected to be operational next year.
"This is exactly what we've been talking about," Cuomo said. "We've been talking for the past 18 months about making New York open for business again."
In all, 300 jobs are supposed to come from the plant being refurbished - that counts the plant itself, the logging industry and other workers who would benefit from the plant.
They will be "smart jobs, intelligent jobs, jobs of the future," Cuomo said.
The governor's trip to Fort Drum came on the same day the Department of Defense and Department of Interior announced a plan to use lands set aside for defense for renewable energy projects.
The military has committed to deploying renewable energy 'on or near its installations' by 2025, according to a statement from the Department of the Interior.
- defended the state law that shifts authority for allowing power plants to be built from local government to the state.
The law is viewed suspiciously in much of the north country, because local governments have successfully restricted large wind power projects, and the law would appear to give developers a way around local concerns.
"Local government is consulted," Cuomo said of the law. But "you need to site power plants, energy plants, if you're going to fuel the economy."
- of the state's property tax cap, Cuomo said "Welcome to reality, local government."
Cuomo was asked about the tax cap, which forbids local governments from raising taxes more than a modest amount each year unless 60 percent of the public goes along. (It's called, somewhat inaccurately, the 'two percent' tax cap.)
"Look, everybody is struggling in this economy," the governor said. "It's not right for government to be the only one that doesn't have to live within a budget."
Fellow Democrat and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned last week that many local governments are burning through their reserves and struggling to pay their bills. (See story here.)