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What's Next for LIPA?

Syosset and Woodbury customers still without power as fallout mounts over LIPA's hurricane response.

Days of power outages, followed by gas rationing and general misery united residents and politicians of every stripe in a way that may be unprecedented on Long Island. They joined to form a chorus of anger aimed at the Long Island Power Authority. 

In the nearly three weeks since Hurricane Sandy left an indelible mark on Long Island, LIPA has become the main target for all that’s gone awry.

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In fact, LIPA reports the Town of Oyster Bay currently has 370 customers without power Thursday, including 18 in Syosset and less than 5 in Woodbury.

On the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide commission to hold the state's utilities accountable for their performance, LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey announced Tuesday he would step down at the end of the year.

, also announced Tuesday that as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, he will head a set of hearings to investigate LIPA's response to Hurricane Sandy. 

A coalition seems to be building against the utility.

And just as it happened to predecessor LILCO, the future of LIPA appears to be in doubt. A poor response to Hurricane Gloria in September 1985 led to its eventual sale.

What should happen to LIPA? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Jim Burdge November 15, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The future doesn't look bright for LIPA. Its bond rating outlook dropped from Stable to Negative on Monday and investors are selling off at a large discount. LIPA hasn't even budgeted for cost of repairs from Irene ($170 Million) and only budgeted an additional $6 Million for 2012 storm repairs which will be 2-3 times Irene costs for Sandy (FEMA reimbursement 75%). LIPA's transition to the partnership with PSEG includes a largely status quo business model with minimal plans for storm preparedness, not the major overhaul and incremental conversion of its antiquated system to underground that is needed.

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