Ryan Madden recap

Click here for a link to an an upcoming forum on this topic
Here is a list of resources provided by the speaker
The speaker can be reached at 877-235-6537 or rmadden@lipc.org
Click here for more information.
This link was sent about information related to the Isias storm.

On February 19, Ryan Madden, Sustainability Organizer for the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), joined LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) to discuss “Reimagining LIPA and The Municipalization of Power.”
Mr. Madden discussed how LIPC was an integral part of passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019 which will help to ensure the New York economy will end its reliance on fossil fuels. He also explained why power should be controlled by local municipalities. Public power will be more efficient, save money, and result in greater customer
satisfaction. There would no longer be tens of millions of dollars being paid to PSEG management. The municipalization would also allow LIPA to receive federal government funding such as FEMA grants.

After Tropical Storm Isaias hit Long Island, LIPA launched an investigation into PSEG in an attempt to uncover errors that were made. Mr. Madden said there is now distrust and dissatisfaction with PSEG because of the failures and the hiding of information that occurred during the storm. LIPA understands that a change needs to be made. He said, either LIPA will
negotiate new terms with PSEG, or LIPA will bring everything in-house and municipalization will occur. The LIPA Board of Trustees are responsible for making the decision. If municipalization does occur, the line workers from PSEG will still continue to do their job, and they will not be
laid off. The line workers would be paying community members and have more of a say in policy.

The municipalization of power would also give LIPA the opportunity to move towards more sustainable power sources, according to Mr. Madden. By 2040, Long Island must have 100% renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines. In addition, LIPA will be legally required to move away from fossil fuels. He also said there is a possibility that the Peaker Plants will be decommissioned in order to create space for power storage sites. Plans are underway for the purchase of a power wind facility, possibly funded by private investment, and ratepayer fees.

The municipalization of power would not mean that LIPA would fully take over, Mr. Madden explained. LIPA would take over the management grid but not the generation of power, (LIPA already owns power lines, poles, and distribution.) The PSEG union would carry over to the new New York system.

While considering this transition, there has been research into places around the United States where public power is being used. California has transitioned to a fully municipalized power infrastructure. In New York, there are villages that have publicly operated power. Some of these
villages include Greenport, Rockville Centre, and Freeport, all of which have reported a good record in cost and reliability for many decades.

The catastrophic snow, wind, and ice that occurred in Texas was alarming to many. Mr. Madden said failure in Texas was due to the lack of supply to meet the incredibly large demand. The grid operator failed to add the supply that was needed. This is an example of why it is important to
have a transparent plan with stakeholders and a plan for emergency response, he said.

Citizens can advocate for this change by calling the Governor Cuomo hotline at 866-961-4293 or signing the Reimagine LIPA statement HERE.