DUNKIRK – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) has come out in support of the NRG plant’s effort to upgrade to natural gas. Reed is throwing his support behind NRG, Inc. – a privately owned power plant in Dunkirk – saying he wants to keep it open and operational. The Corning Republican recently spent time in the area and discussing his support for the proposed $700 million project to convert the plant from a coal-burning facility to power plant that makes energy via natural gas. The effort to make this transition is being promoted as the PowerUpWNY campaign.
Congressman Reed said the plant is a vital part of the northern Chautauqua County economy and allowing it to upgrade to natural gas will ensure the facility is state-of-the art and able to continue providing customers with low-cost energy. In response to Reed announcing his support for NRG, his opponent – Nate Shinagawa (D-Ithaca) is questioning whether the Corning republican’s intentions are sincere.
Shinagawa is calling out Reed for taking the lead in the effort to support the Canadian Transmission line project, which he says would ship energy jobs and shift a significant portion of our energy sources to Canada. Shinagawa says the Canadian Transmission Line Project – also known as the Champlain Hudson Power Express Transmission Line) – could be the number one detractor from the expansion of the region’s own energy sector. Shinagawa says it will also hurt local investments in renewable energy like wind and solar, shifting the responsibility and the benefits to Canadian workers. State senator Cathy Young has already come out against the transmission line project, along with several labor groups and the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.
Shinagawa claims Congressman Reed is taking the lead on a project that not only ships jobs out of our country and the 23rd district, but will also cost taxpayers more to make it happen, wasting previous investments in our own energy sector.
Shinagawa is challenging Reed for New York’s 23rd Congressional District, which will include all of Chautauqua County starting in January 2013.