On December 8, 2003, Council Member Peter Vallone Jr.and Assemblyman Michael Gianaris attended an Astoria Energy LLC Project public hearing held at the Con Edison Learning Center in Long Island City. The Astoria Energy LLC Project is applying to use Liberty Bond funds to finance the construction of a new 500-megawatt electric generating facility, to be ultimately expanded to a 1,000-megawatt plant. Liberty Bonds are issued by the Federal Government for the purpose of rebuilding of New York City after the World Trade Center disaster.
“The air in Queens stinks and this deal stinks and is part of a process that reeked from the beginning,” said Vallone. “First, the State rammed this plant through the Siting Board against the will of an over- saturated community. Then, the State rigged a deal with Con Edison to get this company a 10-year contract in order to finance the project. And now, a state board is attempting to inappropriately use Liberty Bonds to fund this power plant. This cries out for an investigation. I will be requesting that the Attorney General do so.”
Vallone and Gianaris, whose Astoria, Queens districts contain power plants that produce more than half of all of the electricity for the City, have long opposed the expansion of power plants unless such plans are combined with retiring the existing generators, which, many experts argue, have contributed to high asthma rates. Astoria contains power plants that produce more than half of all of the electricity for the City.