Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson’s (D-104) bill (A2330A/S4186A) commissioning a study of the feasibility of burying all or most of the electrical, telephone, and internet transmission lines in New York was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Leroy Comrie (D-14).
“I introduced the bill shortly after Tropical Storm Isaias caused widespread power outages across the Hudson Valley,” Jacobson said. “Thousands of residents were without power for multiple days in the middle of a pandemic while Central Hudson worked to restore service.”
“As climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather, there is a corresponding increase in outages and their consequences,” Jacobson continued. “The cost of burying transmission lines pales to the inconvenience and costs to individuals and businesses every time there is a major storm. Workers lose time from work as businesses are forced to close due to loss of electricity and internet connection. People must throw out spoiled food. Schools must close.”
“Burying transmission lines will also encourage the transmission of hydroelectric power and wind power without the presence of unsightly transmission lines which currently foster opposition,” Jacobson added. “I am certain a study will show that burying these lines would ultimately save government, businesses, and ordinary citizens billions of dollars as well as human lives. In addition, the necessary work would create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”
Jacobson reported that between January 2012 and July 2021, Central Hudson spent $75,382,794 to restore damaged lines after a major storm.