CUOMO:COMMISSION TO PROBE UTILITY COMPANIES’ STORM MANAGEMENT

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of the Governor of New York and received
via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
November 13, 2012 
GOVERNOR CUOMO LAUNCHES MORELAND COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE AND
STUDY UTILITY COMPANIES’ STORM PREPARATION AND MANAGEMENT;
RECOMMEND REFORMS TO OVERHAUL REGULATION OF ENTIRE SYSTEM TO
BETTER DEAL WITH EMERGENCIES 
Commission to Investigate Companies’ Preparedness and Make
Recommendations to Improve Future Response to Major Weather
Incidents 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an Executive Order to
establish a commission under the Moreland Act that will
investigate the response, preparation, and management of New
York’s power utility companies with major storms hitting the
state over the past two years, including Hurricanes Sandy and
Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. 
The Commission will be tasked to undertake a thorough review of
all actions taken by the power companies before and after these
emergencies, and make specific recommendations to reform and
modernize oversight, regulation and management of New York’s
power delivery services. 
“From Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, to Hurricane Sandy,
over the past two years New York has experienced some of the
worst natural disasters in our state’s history,” Governor Cuomo
said. “As we adjust to the reality of more frequent major
weather incidents, we must study and learn from these past
experiences to prepare for the future.” 
The Commission’s mandate includes examining and making
recommendations to reform the overlapping responsibilities and
missions of NYPA, LIPA, NYSERDA, and the Public Service
Commission. As evidenced by Hurricane Sandy, the existing
labyrinth of regulatory bodies, state agencies and authorities,
and quasi-governmental bodies has contributed to a dysfunctional
utility system. 
The Commission will have the power to subpoena and examine
witnesses under oath. The Commission members include: 
Co-Chair Robert Abrams, former Attorney General of New York
State
Co-Chair Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of
Financial Services
Peter Bradford, former Chair of the Public Service Commission
Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University
John Dyson, former Chairman of the New York Power Authority
Rev. Floyd Flake, Senior Pastor of Greater Allen African
Methodist Episcopal Cathedral
Mark Green, former New York City Public Advocate
Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive
Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney
Dan Tishman, Vice Chairman at AECOM Technology Corporation, and
Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation 
The Executive Order establishing the Commission is below: 
E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
DESIGNATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 6 OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW 
WHEREAS, beginning on October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused
massive power outages throughout Long Island, New York City,
Westchester, Rockland and surrounding counties, affecting over
two million customers, including ninety percent of customers on
Long Island; and 
WHEREAS, storm emergencies have effected, as well as thousands
of businesses and private and public services providers charged
with the protection of the health and safety of New Yorkers,
including hospitals, adult homes, nursing homes and other
residences serving persons with disabilities and other special
needs; and 
WHEREAS, storm emergencies crippled major public transportation
systems, including mass transportation, bridges, tunnels, roads
and several waterways, throughout the region; and 
WHEREAS, the loss of power adversely affected a variety of other
critical systems including communications services, gasoline
terminals and stations, natural gas delivery to residences and
steam delivery to large residential and commercial complexes,
and 
WHEREAS, on November 7, 2012, a Nor’easter with snow exacerbated
the suffering, property damage and power outages sustained in
some of the same areas affected by Hurricane Sandy; and 
WHEREAS, such sustained disruption of the power supply and its
cascading damage to other critical systems in many communities,
neighborhoods and industrial areas, as well as the continued
prevalence of downed utility lines, has jeopardized the health
and safety of New Yorkers and undermined public confidence in
the public utility service system; and 
WHEREAS, in August and September of 2011, as a result of
Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee over one million
customers in New York State lost power and some communities
suffered prolonged power outages which not only impacted Long
Island, New York City, Westchester, Rockland and surrounding
counties, but also the counties of Albany, Broome, Chenango,
Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin,
Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego,
Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Tioga, Tompkins,
Warren and Washington; and 
WHEREAS, in December 2008, an ice storm caused over 300,000
power outages in New York State, and many customers were still
without power a week after the storm; and 
WHEREAS, these recent and past events indicate that utility
emergency response planning and procedures must anticipate
future emergencies and be prepared. 
WHEREAS, utilities are required to provide safe, adequate and
reliable services to the public; and 
WHEREAS, while the New York State Public Service Commission is
the regulatory agency charged with oversight of private
utilities in the State of New York, there exists a labyrinth of
other regulatory bodies, state agencies, authorities and quasi-governmental bodies including but not limited to the New York
Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, and the New
York State Energy and Research Development Authority, whose
overlapping mandates, jurisdiction and responsibilities have
contributed to a dysfunctional utility system; and 
WHEREAS, serious questions have been raised about the adequacy
of utility management, structures, resources, the current
regulatory framework and oversight to ensure effective
preparation for and response to natural disasters by utilities
in this State, particularly in light of the increasing frequency
and intensity of such disasters as well as the licensing,
certification, supervision and regulation of the power industry
in New Yorker under existing law; and 
WHEREAS, to maintain public confidence in the provision of vital
services by utilities, it is manifestly in the public interest
to study, examine, investigate and review each and every
component of the provision of power to New York State: and 
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 3, of the New York Constitution
vests the Governor with the obligation to take care that the
laws are faithfully executed; 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New
York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and laws of the State of New York, do hereby order
as follows:
1.     Pursuant to Section 6 of the Executive Law, I hereby
appoint a Commission to: (A) study, examine, investigate and
review: (i) the emergency preparedness and response of utilities
during and following emergency weather events, including the
performance of the utilities during and following emergency
weather events; (ii) the adequacy of present laws, rules,
regulations, practices and procedures with respect to utilities’
emergency preparedness and response; (iii) the adequacy of
existing oversight and enforcement mechanisms; (iv) the
structure, organization, ownership, financing, control,
management and practices of the utilities as they affect
emergency preparedness and response; and (v) the provision of
utility services to New York State under the existing legal
regulatory framework, including but not limited to the
jurisdiction, responsibilities and missions of the New York
Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, the New York
State Energy and Research Development Authority, as well as the
Public Service Commission; (B) report and make recommendations
for legislative, policy and regulatory changes, as well as
reforms as deemed appropriate in utility structure, management
and practices, to best protect and serve the public’s interest
with respect to emergency preparedness and response, and the
provision of safe, reliable, responsive utility services; and
(C) review any other matters or activities which may affect the
issues herein before specified;
2.     The Commission is hereby empowered to subpoena and enforce
the attendance of witnesses; to administer oaths or affirmations
and examine witnesses under oath; to require the production of
any books, records or papers deemed relevant or material to any
investigation, examination or review; and to perform any other
functions that are necessary or appropriate to fulfill the
duties and responsibilities of office, and I hereby give and
grant to the Commission all powers and authorities which may be
given or granted to persons appointed by me for such purpose
under authority of Section 6 of the Executive Law. The
Commission may exercise any such powers in cooperation with any
other body or government agency.
3.     The Commission shall provide a report and recommendations
at the conclusion of its work, and may issue interim,
preliminary and periodic reports and recommendations.
4.     Within this Executive Order, “utilities” refers to the
entities engaged in the provision of electric, gas and steam.
5.     Every State department, agency, office, division, board,
bureau, council, authority and public benefit corporation shall
cooperate with the Commission and shall furnish such information
and assistance as the Commission determines is reasonably
necessary to fulfill its duties. 
G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the
City of Albany this thirteenth day of November in the year two
thousand twelve. 
BY THE GOVERNOR 
Secretary to the Governor 
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber | press.office@exec.ny.gov |
518.474.8418 
(bjh) NY 
#<873920.660640.3.1.0.0.76>#