Ryan stated that this would not be unprecedented. "Look to other utilities to create a LIPA bankruptcy roadmap. In 2001, Pacific Gas and Electric Company filed for bankruptcy protection after the energy crisis left it with a $9 billion debt and no viable solution to protect the ratepayer. Back in 1992, the El Paso utility in Texas filed for protection because of the debt created by the construction of a nuclear power plant. In both instances it was painful, the legal process uncertain and the markets were very unhappy, but it was the right course of action in moving past a debt that was devastating to the ratepayer" he stated.
As noted, the ABLI membership comprises the largest group of electrical ratepayers on Long Island. The group says even the threat of such an action by LIPA would force elected officials to recognize that the current situation is untenable. By even asking the question, "Whose interest is paramount, the consumer or the creditor?' Long Island can begin to examine other issues such as the current policy of LIPA power plants sitting dark and idle while providing the surrounding community with tens of millions of dollars in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) equals 14% of the current burden shouldered by the all ratepayers," Polimeni reminded.
Ryan agreed, "We need to appreciate that no matter how many utility poles are replaced or how many trees are pruned, we are in crisis a without restructuring the Shoreham debt. And now LIPA is talking about 20% increase while Wall Street is openly hostile to privatization. It's time to break the Gordian knot tied around Long Island's neck because of the Shoreham debt."
SOURCE Association for a Better Long Island, Inc.