Overseeing LIPA

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LIPA workers in Far Rockaway trying to restore power after Hurricane Sandy. LIPA workers in Far Rockaway trying to restore power after Hurricane Sandy. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Matthew Cordaro, co-chairman of the Suffolk Legislature's LIPA Oversight Committee, explains the structure of the Long Island Power Authority and what kind of accountability there is in the wake of this storm.



Matthew Cordaro

Comments [8]


LIPA and the state bear the ultimate responsibility but I am amazed at the extent National Grid gets a pass in the coverage of the storm - as if they were innocent bystanders. This foreign owned utility must have performance criteria in their contract with LIPA which should be looked at carefully and if penalties are due, they should be levied with full force.

Nov. 13 2012 11:56 AM

When Cuomo came out, a day or two after the storm -- and stated that LIPA is run by business people, who understand that they will need to make good to their customers -- this was a pivotal moment for my own consumer activism and sense of citizenship.

What a relief and surprise to hear a powerful elected official plainly taking a powerful company to task.

Such leadership during crisis was all the more stellar when contrasted with Jersey governor Christie, who kept blubbering about his childhood beach washing away -- and how the federal government needs to rebuilt all those gaudy houses built on sand -- literally!

Nov. 13 2012 11:51 AM
Tommy from Elmhurst, Queens

excuses. By his own admission LIPA is anwerable ultimately to the state gov't. It was instituted by Cuomo's father to shut down a nuclear power point and buy out its predecessor.

Even though it outsources all the actual work to National Grid, that does not excuse it's sub-par performance.

LIPA customers should demand refunds, credits, and reduced rates in light (no pun intended) of its poor response.

(discloser: I'm in Elmhurst, Queens, and am fairly satisfied w/ ConEd's handling)

Nov. 13 2012 11:46 AM

Here is a comment from
Governor, would you also please call off Attorney General Schneiderman and stop him from opposing LIPA reform? If you consent to ELECTED LIPA TRUSTEES by way of Fischer v. Board of Elections, EDNY CV-12-5397, just so we can have elected LIPA trustees, we do not need any state, legislative, or other approvals to have OPEN CITIZEN GOVERNANCE of LIPA by way of Elected Trustees. As you know, there are three very committed Suffolk Citizens that have fought this battle so all that has to happen now is a simple consent to this very important reform that would also open LIPA to competition and let towns create their own Municipal Power Authorities like Greenport that pays 40% less for electricity and only had one hour of blackout. Thanks.

Nov. 13 2012 11:45 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Con Ed owns the lines; other companies own the generation facilities and meters. This is a function of the deregulatory fervor of the 1980s. LIPA is as well--when it was first formed from the pieces of LILCO and Brooklyn Union Gas, private entities poured in to sell/manage/meter LI electric services and is now a hodgepodge. Overlong tree branches were also the beginning domino of the 2003 blackout; this is also a function of deregulation--when profit became the motive, the utilities cut back on tree trimming to increase profit.

Nov. 13 2012 11:45 AM

On average, Con Ed customers paid 25.59 cents for a kilowatt hour of electricity in 2011. That’s a bit more than twice the national average price of 11.72 cents per kilowatt hour. The highest residential rates of any major utility in the 48 contiguous states. The only people who pay more live in Alaska, Hawaii, Fishers and Block Islands.


And, we STILL have an obsolete electric grid that is a hundred years old that fails with the slightest stress - winter, summer or storm.

Where the hell does the $$$ go???


Nov. 13 2012 11:42 AM
Bob from Huntington

Wasn't Cuomo's father, Mario, responsible for the creation of LIPA?

Nov. 13 2012 11:41 AM

LIPA's Board members are beyond their appointed terms. No election has ever been held for the trustees that were supposed to be elected.

Nov. 13 2012 11:37 AM

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