As part of a regular weekly feature on the Politics Now blog, Tom Precious of The News' Albany Bureau posts an audio interview with a newsmaker from the Capitol.
This week we talk energy policy –- specifically, energy transmission –- with Phil Wilcox, the Western division business representative for Local 97 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a union that represents power plant workers from Buffalo to Albany.
Wilcox presents IBEW’s case against a plan by a Canadian and American consortium to construct a single transmission line, most of it underwater beneath Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, bringing power to New York City. The union, along with a number of New York-based power producers, wants the state, instead, to upgrade existing transmission lines to bring power to the city from western, central and northern New York.
The debate comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is proposing an "energy highway" for New York to improve the aging power transmission system -– a plan he has not yet fully flushed out but which will have important consequences for energy rates and job creation across the state.