They’re the same promises he made after every bad weather event, but does he mean it this time? CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer took that question straight to the governor today, demanding answers.
With power lines down, people sitting in darkness with no heat or air conditioning, depending on the season, New Yorkers have heard the threats before.
After the 2018 winter storms:
“Utility companies were not granted a license by God,” Cuomo said in March of 2018.
“They can be replaced,” Cuomo said in July of 2019.
“Your franchise could be revoked, and I’m as serious as a heart attack,” Cuomo said.
But after Kramer demanded answers, the governor took a new tack, and said he was also going to go after his own Public Service Commission.
“I wonder, given the latest power outage, what you can do to to make sure your demand for change does not turn into a hollow promise, a hollow threat?” Kramer asked.
“First of all, Ms. Kramer, you’re a person who has known me for a fairly long period of time. ‘Hollow threat’ are not two words that tend to come to mind,” Cuomo said. “We are going to be taking dramatic action both with the PSC and with Con Edison… I don’t think they have been tough enough on Con Ed and other utilities.”
Here’s why. Adding insult to injury, the state Public Service Commission finally decided on a punishment for Con Edison’s outages in the winter of 2018. It was a $10 million fine – not much of a fine for a company that has $12 billion in annual revenue, Kramer reported.
“What do you want the governor to do?” Kramer asked.
“Be more assertive. He’s like a whining baby,” said Lorraine Esposito of Mamaroneck.
“Let heads roll each time this happens. That’s the only way you can actually watch a bureaucracy. You basically let the heads roll, and then make sure that the trail of their failures follow them,” said Ray McGraime of Smithtown.
“Do something. That’s all I would say. What else can I say? He’s the one that’s got the authority,” said Ralph Massimiano of Larchmont.
If it’s any consolation, Gov. Cuomo says he feels your pain. He says his Westchester home was also powerless. Of course, powerless is not a word normally associated with the governor of New York.
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