A letter on CCA from Trustee Brian Pugh

CCA2016

 

To The Editor:

County Legislator Catherine Borgia and I organized two information and discussion sessions in June on Community Choice Aggregation for Westchester communities not currently participating in the Westchester Power CCA program.

Municipal leaders from several communities participated.  But none of my colleagues from the Croton United Party majority of the Village Board, who voted against CCA in January, attended either meeting.

Some of you may remember, the CU Party majority voted against CCA even their own treasurer, Joel Gingold, told the Board, “I believe the more likely outcome is that the program will offer modest, but real, savings to those who agree to participate.  Perhaps more importantly, it will offer customers who so choose, the option to obtain all of their electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar, hydro, etc.).”

Indeed, the CUP majority opposed CCA after Mayor Schmidt begged Sustainable Westchester for an additional 2 weeks to consider the issue, received an additional two weeks, and Mayor Schmidt again refused to place the issue on the agenda and approve CCA for our community.

The absence of any trustees from the Croton United Party at the meetings regarding future plans for CCA is troubling.  Prior to voting against CCA, the CU Party’s Board members claimed they would consider participating in CCA in the future if enough additional communities showed an interest in the program to make it possible for Sustainable  Westchester to offer a “second round.”

Since then, the Westchester Power CCA has secured a contract with Con Edison Solutions to provide participating municipalities, more than a dozen to date, with certified 100% renewable power for less than the average price of standard Con Ed electric power.  The US EPA also honored Sustainable Westchester, the  nonprofit consortium that runs Westchester Power CCA, as one of this year’s environmental champions.

In the face of the success of  Westchester Power CCA, the apparent indifference of my Croton United Party colleagues is distressing—especially since they all received written notice of the meetings and I mentioned the scheduled meeting at in my report at the June 6, 2016 Village Board meeting.

The Croton United Party’s opposition to  the Westchester Power CCA, an economical and environmentally-sound program that has won bipartisan support, is a lost opportunity for our community.  I hope that my colleagues will come around on this issue before we miss another chance to join our neighbors in Ossining and other communities in benefiting from the affordable renewable power CCA can bring to our Village.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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