Constituent Services
Higgins' Statement on Announcement That State Comptroller Will Audit Niagara Power Project
October 19, 2005
Washington, DC—“I am enormously gratified by the decision of New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi to commence a full and comprehensive financial and management audit of the Niagara Power Project.
 
As we all know, the New York Power Authority has engaged in a deceptive and duplicitous ‘divide and conquer’ strategy with respect to the relicensing of Niagara; they have hired high-priced lobbyists and consultants to distort the truth and keep Western New York divided, all toward receiving a new license before officials in Western New York realize they have been had.
 
Thanks to Comptroller Hevesi’s decision, the public will finally learn the truth about the Niagara Power Project. NYPA’s cynical ‘divide and conquer’ strategy with the public and the media will be exposed for the fraud that it is, and residents of Buffalo, Erie County and Western New York will benefit from exposing the true operations of the Niagara Power Project to the clear light of day.
 
This unprecedented audit will demonstrate once and for all the enormous financial windfall that the New York Power Authority enjoys as a result of harnessing electricity from the vast natural resource that we have in our own backyard, Niagara Falls. It will also demonstrate more clearly than ever that the massive profits that NYPA earns at Niagara are used to subsidize its waste, abuse and mismanagement. This audit will detail the enormous profits that NYPA gets from the Niagara Power Project, and will refute once and for all the baseless claim made by NYPA and its ‘spin doctors’ that the authority cannot afford to pay Buffalo and Erie County a fair and equitable settlement to mitigate the damage it has caused to the Buffalo waterfront over the past 50 years.
 
I want to offer my sincere thanks to my delegation partners in the House of Representatives for their attention to this issue and want to single out for special thanks Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. They have both been outstanding partners in the process of obtaining for Buffalo and Erie County a fair and equitable relicensing settlement agreement, and they and their staffs are to be commended for the level of cooperation they have provided.
 
 As I have said time and time again, the Niagara Power Project was not constructed to subsidize the waste and abuse of the New York Power Authority; it was constructed to harness the best elements of Western New York’s vast natural resource toward the economic and life-quality betterment of the people of Western New York. I am certain that the leadership of NYPA will be a full and cooperative partner with the Comptroller’s efforts, and that the comprehensive review of the Comptroller’s findings, which are certain to follow, will be beneficial to all residents of Western New York.”
 

 
 
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