August 15, 2011
John Durso, Jr.
Eight years ago this week, overgrown trees in Ohio fell on three transmission lines, unleashing a cataclysmic series of events resulting in the Great Northeast Blackout. Like many of you, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day.
The results of this incident varied greatly – from those who were trapped in overheated elevators or trains, to those who had to clean up from inoperable sump pumps and freezers. Yet, there is no question that our quality of life took a massive hit from this unfortunate series of events.
New York AREA was formed in response to these unfortunate events and charged with advancing common-sense energy policy solutions designed to safeguard New York’s quality of life. As we embark on our eighth year of existence, we can rightfully point to the many improvements made to our state’s physical infrastructure – yet, we also remain ever mindful of the work ahead.
In these deeply uncertain economic times, investment in infrastructure with an equal demand for accountability, cost-effectiveness and tangible results will create new jobs, spur new investment and get our economy growing again. Whether its new roads, bridges, water treatment facilities or power plants, focusing on New York’s ever antiquated physical infrastructure must remain a top priority.
Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of Associated General Contractors of New York State and a New York AREA member summed it up in a recent edition of the Utica Observer-Dispatch: “If we don’t invest in our infrastructure then it’s just another item to add to the list of reasons to not to business in New York. We don’t need any more problems like that.”