A Message from Business Manager Chris Erikson
A couple of recent developments regarding the anticipated offshore wind projects may have put some of the projects in jeopardy of proceeding. The NYS Public Service Commission recently denied a request for additional subsidies from two offshore wind developers and a renewable energy trade group representing four offshore wind and 86 land-based renewable projects which would total 25 percent of the forecasted electricity demand by 2030. The companies claim that anticipated costs have increased due to inflation driven by the pandemic and supply chain issues attributed to the war in Ukraine, making these projects in their current iteration potentially financially unviable. The PSC argued in its denial that changing the terms of the already-awarded contracts undermines the competitive procurement process and would have added untenable increases that would be passed on to the ratepayers.
Governor Kathy Hochul also recently sided with the residents and local officials in Long Beach, New York, by vetoing a bill that would have expedited one of the offshore wind projects already on the books. The bill was a necessary step to install a high-voltage transmission cable under the beach in the center of the city to the onshore substation. Equinor, developer of this particular project, will now have to plan to reroute the cable, a decision that could possibly kill the project. The Governor stated that Equinor didn't engage enough with the community of Long Beach. On several occasions, Local 3 members and retirees who live in Long Beach attended and participated in hearings and council meetings expressing their support for this project and offshore projects in general because of the need to address climate change while creating and supporting good union careers. Hopefully these setbacks are just bumps in the road and get worked out.
Elections are coming up, so don’t let others make the decision for you by not voting. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th and the early voting period is October 28th to November 5th. We need to elect candidates who protect our economic interests. Fulfill your responsibility because every vote counts — no excuses! We may not win in every district or every contest, but we have a shot. We lost the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago and look where we are. We lost two more years of progress that President Joe Biden could have made for the Labor Movement. It’s the same risk we take locally. If we lose because we don't bother to vote, that allows the extremists to run the show. Shame on us. Make the difference and support Labor's candidates. VOTE!