Superstorm Sandy: Moreland Commission subpoenas Con Ed, LIPA
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ALBANY -- An investigative panel issued subpoenas Wednesday to the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison, seeking information about their preparation, response and recovery efforts during superstorm Sandy, a knowledgeable source said.
The Moreland Commission, empaneled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo two weeks ago, delivered one subpoena to each utility late in the afternoon. The commission is charged with investigating how LIPA and other public utilities have handled major storms in the past two years, including Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene. It is tasked with making recommendations "to reform the overlapping responsibilities of" the utilities.
Cuomo's commission becomes the second to subpoena LIPA and Con Ed. Two weeks ago, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did the same, seeking to determine whether the companies lived up to legal obligations to provide a safe supply of power in a reliable manner.
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Cuomo's 10-member Moreland Commission is headed by former state Attorney General Robert Abrams and Benjamin Lawsky, one of Cuomo's top lieutenants and current head of the state Department of Financial Services.
"We will cooperate with the Moreland Commission's request and look forward to discussing the company's storm preparations and response with . . . all interested parties," Con Ed spokesman Alfonso Quiroz said in an email.
When Cuomo created the commission, he said, "Serious questions have been raised about the adequacy of utility management, structures, resources, the current regulatory framework and oversight."
Also on Wednesday, Cuomo issued a joint statement with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, pledging to work together to make sure both states "receive as much federal support as possible" to recover from Sandy.
"Our economies and infrastructures are inextricably linked and, in many ways, dependent on one another, which is why we share common goals in the rebuilding effort," Cuomo, a Democrat, and Christie, a Republican, wrote. "It is our shared commitment to the people of our states to work in partnership so that our needs are met and we receive as much federal support as possible."
Cuomo has requested $42 billion in federal aid for recovery and mitigation against future storms. Christie has asked for $37 billion. A regional, bipartisan appeal would face better odds in Congress, officials have said.