A $2 billion project designed to bring cheap energy from Quebec in Canada down to New York City is under assault from a group of New York State lawmakers, 12 Republicans and 1 Democrat. They say that the 1,000 megawatt power line will harm the power industry in New York. They believe that many local jobs would be lost and that the promised $650 million in annual savings to consumers will not materialize.
“Our state’s resources should be used to create jobs in New York, rather than export them to a foreign country,” they wrote in a letter to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
An associate professor at HEC in Montreal, Pierre-Olivier Pineau says it is easy to see why these legislators are worried. Today there are many subsidies supplied by state and local governments to promote green energy and therefore create jobs, therefore governments want to be protective of those jobs and businesses that supply them. He says that even in Quebec all the wind power purchased must come from the province and not elsewhere.
“Energy is highly politicized in the U.S. and in Canada so there’s no other reason beyond politics. It doesn’t make business sense, it doesn’t make environmental sense to oppose this project,” Pineau explained.