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Schumer Critical of NYPA for Denying Power

Senator Charles Schumer talks with constituents
Senator Charles Schumer talks with constituents

By Mark Scott

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-832045.mp3

Buffalo, NY – US Senator Charles Schumer has some harsh words for the New York Power Authority. New York's senior senator says he's outraged by the authority's refusal to grant low-cost hydropower to a steel company that was interested in locating in our region.

A start-up company called Steel Development was hoping to build a steel recycling and manufacturing plant in the Orleans County community of Shelby. It would have employed 200 workers. But the company withdrew its plans after the Power Authority rejected its request for 35 megawatts of hydropower.

The authority claims granting the request would have left it with very little power to meet the needs of other companies that are interested in locating in Western New York. But Senator Schumer says he's not buying that.

"Something is rotten with NYPA," Schumer said.

Schumer says he plans to reach out to executives of Steel Development to see if there's any way of salvaging their plans.

The Senator says he's also in contact with CsX executives about the future of the Buffalo railyard. Officials with the freight rail hauler say the company expects double-digit declines in shipping volume to continue and that they'll need to layoff more employees. Schumer says he'll work to preserve jobs at the Frontier Yard off Broadway which employs 800.

Schumer appeared at a Cheektowaga car dealership Thursday, pushing his "Cash for Clunkers" program that would provide vouchers worth thousands of dollars to people for replacement of their gas-guzzling vehicles.