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PUSH Buffalo Issues Challenge to National Fuel CEO David Smith

This video and press release just came in from PUSH Buffalo:



Community Challenge to National Fuel CEO David Smith

We’ll be at the Public Hearing, will you?

Next Wednesday, July 6th, hundreds of community residents, organizations and elected officials will participate in a Public Hearing convened and facilitated by the Public Service Commission to evaluate National Fuel’s Conservation Incentive Program (CIP). The goal is to hear recommendations for improving CIP. The National Fuel Accountability Coalition (NFAC) issued a challenge today in a video to National Fuel CEO David Smith: Will you be there too?

The Public Hearing is a result of a year of pressure from the NFAC on National Fuel’s misuse of CIP fund. NFAC has been particularly critical of millions in CIP money that’s been spent on National Fuel advertising campaign and an inadequate focus on best practices in energy efficiency. In the past year, National Fuel ran 2,053 commercials with CIP funds.

While Western New Yorkers are making tough choices to keep their gas on, National Fuel executives are the highest paid in the region. CEO David Smith made $7.1million last year.  That’s $3,500 an hour, enough to weatherize a typical house in our community.

“In a community where heating costs are among the highest in the nation it’s outrageous for National Fuel’s four top executives to have made over 15 million last year. Furthermore, National Fuel spending millions of our public conservation money on commercials, while thousands of people are making tough choices to stay warm in the winter unacceptable.” said Pastor M Bruce McKay of VOICE–Buffalo, a founding organization in the National Fuel Accountability Coalition. “Many people from my congregation will be at the Public Hearing next week proposing bold solutions to this crisis. As the leader of Western New York’s most powerful corporate citizens, I hope David Smith will be there too.”

The National Fuel Accountability Coalition is comprised of fifteen organizations from across National Fuel’s service territory who want to see National Fuel invest in real conservation that would save energy, reduce gas bills and create green jobs.

PUSH Buffalo’s National Fuel Campaign Continues

Tonight at 6pm, PUSH Buffalo is staging a march from the corner of Porter and Niagara streets to Holy Cross Church on the corner of Niagara and Maryland streets. The purpose of the march is to call attention to PUSH’s efforts to engage National Fuel in a discussion about the company’s conservation incentive program.

National Fuel responded to PUSH’s campaign by asking a judge to issue restraining orders that would prohibit PUSH members from demonstrating on company property. (You can read a little bit about that here.)

The march ends at Holy Cross Curch, which will host the annual meetings of PUSH, NOAH, and VOICE Buffalo. Among the subjects of discussion will be an upcoming series of community meetings regarding development of Buffalo’s Inner Harbor.