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Power Authority is failing, leading politicians say

   Things just keep piling up for the New York Power Authority.

   First, the authority allows the state to "sweep" nearly $550 million of its funds for use to patch up holes in this year's state operating budget.

   Next, it's confronted and criticized a for a proposed rate hike, which it later agrees to suspend.

   Finally, it's revealed this week the authority and a start-up steel company targeting a site in Orleans County failed to come to a deal on an allocation of low-cost power for the second time.

   (Not to mention the German chemical company that wanted to come to Niagara Falls, and Google Inc. which was looking in Orleans County, too; both of whom also wanted power but decided to look elsewhere, at least in part due to the lack of cheap hydropower offered.)

   Enter U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins, who on Thursday called for a major shake-up at the authority. Read the story here.

   Schumer wants a restructuring; Higgins said he thinks the authority should be disbanded.

   Judging by some of the e-mails I received Thursday after The Buffalo News published a front-page story on this issue, I'm guessing some people might agree with the federal representatives. Many readers have already chimed in on a previous post at the Niagara Views blog. Click here to check out their comments.

   And here's a great, in-depth look at the hydropower issue by my colleague James Heaney.

   --Aaron Besecker


business | New York Power Authority
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