ARLINGTON, VA — The American Consumer Institute issued the following statement regarding the future of the Long Island Power Authority:
The American Consumer Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research institute, calls on all stakeholders to cautiously examine whether a municipalized Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) would provide its promised accountability and responsiveness to consumer concerns. Having missed the December 31, 2022 deadline for the publication of a draft report on the future of LIPA, the Legislative Commission is casting doubt over whether greater government control over LIPA will meet the expectations of consumers.
Consumers across the country deserve an affordable, reliable, and clean supply of electricity. However, in recent months, soaring utility bills have drained household budgets and burdened families and businesses alike. Different sources of electricity generation are appropriate for different contexts, as are different market structures. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Nonetheless, we recognize that competition—between companies, fuel sources, and technologies—is a tried and tested route to lower consumer prices and greater efficiency.
As communities across America consider the best solution for their needs, we note with dismay that some groups have offered a variety of misleading claims to advance their preferred outcome. In particular, promises to give ratepayers greater control over electricity generation, transmission, and distribution need to be substantiated. Without detailing how consumers will have greater influence, relative to their existing democratic oversight of regulatory authorities, this common catchphrase is confusing at best. Similarly, promises about lower prices need to be backed up with detailed analysis and forecasting. Cherry-picking “best case” scenarios, and omitting how long a proposed solution will take to lower prices, effectively replaces objective analysis with wishful thinking.
Residents of Long Island have the right to choose the best solution for their power challenges. However, the inability of the Legislative Commission on the Future of LIPA to meet its own statutory draft report deadline in December is an ominous sign for the proposed public power model. This first failed hurdle raises questions around whether greater government control over LIPA will meet its own promises of greater accountability and responsiveness.
Email [email protected] to set up a conversation with Oliver McPherson-Smith, director of energy, trade and environmental policy at ACI.