Last Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state has awarded $54 million for 79 large-scale solar projects throughout the state under his NY-Sun initiative, which will add 64 megawatts to the state’s solar capacity.

 

The best news is that this is money that is already being collected from ratepayers.  Once again, the legislative session ended without a new solar energy mandate put on utilities that would require them to spend billions of dollars to buy above-market solar energy.

 

Don’t get us wrong – we love the sun.  But Upstate ratepayers who are already paying some of the highest energy rates in the nation shouldn’t be required to pay more just because solar generators can compete with other energy sources.

 

One other thing — I know we keep beating the same drum on this one – but when is the administration going to approve high-volume hydraulic fracturing so that Upstate can take advantage of this tremendous resource that is creating jobs and economic activity in a number of other states throughout the country?  Instead, our domestic oil and gas industry is literally dying a slow death (not unlike our Southern tier counties).

 

 

Political Update

 

Nojay Announces Launch of Pro-2nd Amendment Organization

 

A group of conservative grassroots organizations led by Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R-Monroe County) and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is planning an all-day patriotic music festival in suburban Albany County on August 24 to register more Republicans to vote.

 

Nojay said “We believe that to be effective you first have to get your people registered.  There’s an automatic disadvantage in upstate New York because voter fraud in New York City is widespread.”

 

Organizers are hoping to hop into widespread conservative frustration with the state Legislature’s passage of stricter gun control laws earlier this year.  They hope to get participation by tea party groups, sportsmen, Southern Tier landowners, fiscal conservatives and right-leaning political organizers.

 

Nojay says for now, the effort will not promote any specific candidates, though they hope primary challengers will emerge to run against incumbents in the state legislature and in local offices, in order to “send a message”  to Democrats that the coalition  disagrees with or Republicans who voted for the new gun laws.

 

State Democratic Party Planning for 2014 Elections

 

According to a memo sent out by the state’s Democratic Party leadership, the State Democratic Committee has raised more than $7 million to support a campaign to promote Gov. Cuomo’s agenda and to invest in efforts to use digital outreach to turn out the vote in the 2014 elections.

 

According to the memo, the plan also includes updating the party’s web site and forming committees and “citizen-action groups” to advancing elements of the Governor’s agenda before the 2014 legislative session and then into the election season. These include groups supporting the Women’s Equality Agenda, public financing for political campaigns and to promote the state’s new gun-control laws.

 

Given their significant fund-raising so far in 2013, we expect that the party will have the resources to carry this out.