NY attorney general proposes utility planning

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York attorney general is proposing legislation to require the state’s electric and gas utilities to assess their systems’ vulnerability to increasingly severe weather and plan to adapt and protect critical services to millions of people.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would open assessments to public review and comment.

He notes Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left nearly 1 million people without electricity in the greater New York City area, caused 50 deaths, shut hospitals, disrupted drinking water, made raw sewage overflow and cost the metropolitan area more than $30 billion in economic activity.

He says recent reports, including the federal government’s 2014 National Climate Assessment, have documented changes already occurring with effects projected to increase, among them more severe and frequent storms, rising sea levels, and more extreme and frequent heat waves.

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