September 2, 2014

Kathleen H. Burgess
New York State Public Service Commission
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350

Re: Public Service Commission's recent filing, 12-T-0502, on Advisory Staff Recommendations for Procedural Process Proposals regarding Cost Recovery, Cost Allocation, and Risk-Sharing for the Energy Highway Project Applications.

Dear Secretary Burgess,

For nearly a year now, communities in my Assembly District have been meeting to gather information and share their concerns about the Governor's proposed Energy Highway which threatens our homes, farms, businesses, viewsheds and tourism economy here in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Hundreds of people have attended these meetings in small, rural towns in Dutchess and Columbia Counties and the sentiments have been overwhelmingly consistent in their concerns.

Despite this, the newly proposed outline appears not to have taken into consideration any of those issues raised during these meetings and in the many letters sent to the PSC over these past months.

Key among those concerns is that we have not yet been shown a clear need for this Energy Highway nor a sense of where this project fits in the larger context of the state's energy policies-e.g. microgrids, Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Further, there is no recognition of the significant economic stress we are already seeing on our local businesses, property owners, and impacted communities because of the tremendous uncertainty raised by the proposed Energy Highway.

Further unsettling are the lack of clarity for weighing criteria during the ranking process that the PSC will engage in with NYISO; worries about NYISO's potential industry biases; and the new recommendation that 90 percent of the cost be allocated "downstate," without defining what that means geographically. In just this past year my constituents have been hit by a record-breaking winter, spiking utility costs, the threat of monster power lines, a senseless new capacity zone imposed by FERC, and a local energy tax. We cannot be expected to shoulder yet another cost, especially for something that will impact our region so negatively.

I urge the PSC to seriously value the compelling concerns raised by the residents of Dutchess and Columbia Counties. Tourism, agriculture and outdoor activities are critical economic engines for this region and these power lines have the potential to seriously damage those local industries.

In addition, I respectfully request that the comment period be extended another 7 to 10 days since these recommendations came out in the middle of August, when many people take their vacations, and the September 2 deadline falls immediately following the Labor Day weekend.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact my office.

Didi Barrett
Member of Assembly, 106th District

David Prestemon, Administrative Law Judge
Audrey Zibelman, Commissioner
Tom Congdon, Deputy Secretary for Energy