Part II: A Century without one of our greatest assets?
Some things don't add up.
By Frank Parlato Jr.
17 April, 2006
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has had control of the hydro- electric power generated from the Niagara River since 1957.
Yet the people in the region do not reap any benefit from it.
Almost every kilowatt – is directed elsewhere - to New York City, and seven other states, while people here pay nearly the highest rates in the USA.
In 2004, for example, NYPA made more than one- half billion in profits from the sale of Niagara hydro-power, yet the region’s residents paid among the highest rates in NY, and, hence, among the highest in the nation. According to Electric Power Monthly – only two states pay more for electricity than New York (New Hampshire and Hawaii). In fact, 13 states pay less than half what New Yorkers pay.
Now, after 50 years, NYPA’s license for the exclusive rights to the Niagara River’s hydro- power is about to expire, and NYPA wants 50 years more.
Most local leaders are ready to give NYPA 50 more years of exclusive management of our power. Some people think that’s insane.
Let’s use an analogy.
Suppose a region grew marvelous apples – so red and delicious they were famous for it, and could get rich from the sale of them and healthy from the eating – but the people and their children – for 50 years- never tasted, or profited from them (unless, of course, their kids moved out of the area- which they did). Then the people and their inept leaders renewed the license of the Apple Authority to have dominion over their apples, and, for 50 more years they imported far more expensive, but inferior apples, or went without Apples, though the orchards were all around them.
And the people remained dead broke.
You’d call these people insane wouldn’t you?
NYPA has had control of our apples for 50 years, and now are seeking another 50 years - until 2057 -a whole century- it is proposed- without tasting our own apples, without getting our hydro- power for our own use.