From Gov. Andrew Cuomo on down, New York’s politicians are gleefully slamming Con Ed over recent power failures. But leave it to Mayor Bill de Blasio to give the game away by hinting at a government takeover.
Right: Leave the maintenance of New York’s gas and electric lines to the folks who’ve kept the city’s public-housing stock in such great shape. Or would you prefer depending on a state-run authority, like the MTA? Just imagine how awful a future “Summer of Hell” that could bring.
This isn’t to excuse the Con Ed failings behind the blackouts, but the simple fact is that the public gets to hold it to a higher standard than anything Cuomo or de Blasio runs.
Yet the gov loves to beat up on the utility, channelling the gripes of his inner man-on-the-street. And the mayor is still trying to make everyone forget that he was off campaigning in Iowa when the first blackout hit, and took most of a day to make it home.
De Blasio points to how the city Department of Environmental Protection handles the water supply as a model for how he’d run electric and gas supplies. Really? The feds had to sue the DEP to build the Croton Filtration Plant. Plus, most New Yorkers hate the rate-setting Water Board.
Con Ed is a regulated public utility, accountable to the state Public Service Commission, which can award the franchise elsewhere if the company truly proves incompetent.
The mayor claimed he “can’t trust” Con Ed execs because he’s “not getting any real answers and they have let New Yorkers down again.” Yes, they focused on fixing the mess first, and then on taking care to see exactly what went wrong.
He had the chutzpah to tell NY1’s Errol Louis, “People [at Con Ed] make some very nice salaries and all, but they don’t have the accountability of a public-sector entity.”
Hah! De Blasio’s team has regularly taken months to investigate and then begin to address deadly failures at NYCHA, Children’s Services and other agencies. Not to mention the hundreds of millions wasted on his Renewal Schools debacle.
He might as well have told New York: There’s plenty of electricity in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.
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