DUNKIRK – State and local officials will converge in Dunkirk later this month to take part in a rally to show support for the NRG power plant.
“A huge turnout is needed one more time to send a loud and clear message — the community continues to resoundingly support repowering the NRG plant,” said Senator Catharine Young (R-Olean). “We’ve done it before and we need to do it again. People’s voices got us this far, and now we need to get over the finish line. Our future depends on it.”
Senator Young will lead a united coalition of community members, Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R-Chautauqua), local and federal officials, businesses, labor organizations and Dunkirk City School representatives in a public rally on Saturday, October 17, at 10:30 a.m. on the Dunkirk Boardwalk.
“All of the powers that be in Albany and Washington, D.C. need to understand how urgent repowering is for our taxpayers, workers, school children and the community. NRG by far provides the largest tax revenues to the school district, city, and county. It provides jobs, and is key to our economic future. If the plant shuts down, it’s devastating,” the senator said in a media release sent out on Thursday.
“Our rallies have produced remarkable results. On the hottest day of the year in July of 2013, thousands of concerned citizens showed up to a Public Service Commission (PSC) hearing at SUNY Fredonia to vocalize their support of NRG’s Dunkirk facility. On one of the coldest days of the year, more than 1,000 community members rallied again on December 7 on the Dunkirk pier. Nine days later, the community was overjoyed when Governor Cuomo came to Dunkirk to announce a natural gas retrofitting of the facility and a ten year contract with National Grid,” Senator Young said.
Since that announcement, competitor Entergy has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Syracuse against the PSC to attempt to block the project.
“Shutting down NRG would limit supply so competitors can make enormous profits. Consumers will be doubly hurt by high prices and lack of reliability on the grid,” Senator Young said.
Currently, the state’s Independent System Operator (ISO) has been directed by the PSC to conduct two studies to evaluate reliability and congestion concerns in Western New York.
The Power Up Western New York Coalition is joining Senator Young to show their support and urge continued progress on the repowering project. Concerned citizens are encouraged to visit the site, www.PowerUpWNY.org to help spread the word about the event and the importance of the plant to the community.
“I know our community is passionate about this project and I look forward to seeing everyone at the pier, rain or shine,” said Senator Young.