Six investor-owned natural gas and electric utilities in New York — Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., Consolidated Edison Inc., National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. — have formed Energy Coalition New York “to provide public policy leadership on energy issues” in the state, a coalition spokesman said Wednesday.

“The coalition will work with the governor and state legislature on energy policies to control customer costs, reduce environmental emissions, spur economic development and promote energy efficiency,” and will also serve as an informational and educational resource for media and the public, the spokesman said.

Together, Energy Coalition New York members own and operate most of the state’s natural gas and electric infrastructure and serve more than 8.5 million customers.

Bills introduced in the New York State Assembly that are likely to be on Energy Coalition New York’s radar include A1027, which would prohibit the unauthorized change of natural gas or electric service providers; A5102, which would establish the Natural Gas Infrastructure Act and a fund to subsidize up to 50% of the cost of projects to extend gas supply facilities to rural areas for economic development purposes; S1068, which would permit rate adjustments for natural gas or electric service only when associated with changes in the costs of fuel, and would limit utilities to one rate adjustment every six months; and S2451, which would make provisions regarding the purchase and procurement of natural gas at the lowest available price at the citygate.

New York lawmakers have also introduced a flurry of bills on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the state’s Marcellus Shale, including one to extend a moratorium on fracking until June 1, 2013 (see Shale Daily, Jan. 10).

The New York State Assembly opened its 2012 session last Wednesday. The final scheduled session day is June 21.

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