Senator Clinton and Congresswoman Maloney Blast Con Ed Compensation for Queens Residents and Businesses
Washington, DC— Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expressed their extreme disappointment today with reports that Con Ed will provide inadequate compensation to residents and business owners who suffered financial losses as a result of the 2006 Queens blackout. Reports indicate that Con Ed will offer compensation of only $100 for households and $200 for small businesses for losses endured during the blackout. In a letter to Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke, Senator Clinton and Congresswoman Maloney expressed concern over the amount proposed for compensation and urged the company to reconsider the offer so that Queens residents and businesses can be properly reimbursed.
"The offer made by Con Ed is unacceptable," said Senator Clinton. "The power outage impacted so many people and resulted in serious financial and personal losses. The impact of this blackout was particularly devastating for businesses in the Queens area with some having reported losses as high as $100,000. While some businesses have received compensation, reimbursement of $100 and $200 is totally inadequate. Con Ed must do better in order to properly compensate their customers."
“Con Ed failed western Queens during the 2006 blackout and again today with this totally inadequate settlement,” said Rep. Maloney. “I surveyed Queens businesses shortly after the blackout and most reported losses that exceeded by many thousands of dollars the compensation offered by Con Ed. Con Ed should have used this settlement to finally do right by the hardest-hit residents and businesses, but again they’re offering only pennies on the dollar. The people of western Queens deserve better from Con Ed and the businesses that bore the brunt of the blackout deserve to be made whole.”
Senator Clinton and Congresswoman Maloney’s letter is below:
April 24, 2008
Mr. Kevin Burke
Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Edison, Inc.
4 Irving Place
New York, New York 10003
Dear Mr. Burke:
We write to urge you to fairly compensate residents and small businesses affected by the Queens power outage in July of 2006. We are extremely disappointed to learn that a settlement of only $100 for households, $200 for small businesses, and $350 for large businesses will be allocated for losses endured during the blackout.
As you are well aware, far too many businesses suffered millions of dollars worth of damages and losses resulting from the blackout in the Queens area. Almost 200,000 residents, including the sick and the elderly, were left without air conditioning or refrigeration for over a week during one of the hottest periods of the summer. At that time, Con Edison offered compensation only for a limited number of claims, and only up to $7,000 for businesses and $350 for households. For many, those amounts paled in comparison to the cost of losing business or perishable goods. Unfortunately the most recent proposed settlement appears to be wholly insufficient to compensate for the losses and inconvenience suffered by residents and local businesses.
We visited with local business owners in western Queens that summer and saw first hand the extent of the damage that was inflicted and we believe that the current compensation proposal does not match the extent of the losses incurred and extreme inconvenience. We urge you to reconsider the amount of compensation for the customers affected by the blackout.
Thank you for your attention to this critical issue, and we would appreciate the opportunity to work with you to help achieve a satisfactory and expeditious resolution.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress