Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R, C, I – Niagara Falls) and Assemblyman Mike Norris (R, C) are co-sponsoring a bill (A.3340) to amend Article 10 requiring a local referendum for large-scale energy projects in New York State.
Under current Article 10 law, energy companies can facilitate and establish new facilities without input or approval from local communities. This legislation would give a voice back to the public and allow communities to work with the state to find amicable agreements regarding the placement of energy facilities and assets.
“There’s no question, we need representatives from the public to have a seat at the table. The emergence of green and renewable energy sources is imperative for the future of our state’s environment and economy, but each type of energy comes at a cost to taxpayers and local residents,” Morinello explains.
“Solar and wind energy facilities need considerable amounts of land. Many rural communities in Western New York enjoy their peace and quiet and fear new facilities will diminish the lives their accustomed to,” he adds.
The bill is intended to stop special interests from forcing their will on rural communities and to give a greater voice to local residents who are concerned with new energy projects.