Two weeks ago, it was reported Con Ed would offer victims of the 2006 blackout--which affected businesses and homeowners in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Woodside, Queens for many sweltering summer days--$100 each. Now it's confirmed Con Ed will be giving the money--$100 to residents, $350 to some businesses--in the form of a "credit on their monthly bill, which will also include a brief apology from the company." That makes everything all better!
While many politicians and victims are outraged (Assemblyman Michael Gianaris called it "a slap in the face"), it turns out that state law limits the amount of cash a utility can give residents. The head of Western Queens Power for the People Campaign said, "This is all we could get." Still, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. pointed out, "That doesn't even cover the rate increases that Con Ed has socked us with since the blackout."
Senator Hillary Clinton weighed in, saying, "The offer made by Con Ed is unacceptable... Con Ed must do better in order to properly compensate their customers." She and Representative Carolyn Maloney have sent a letter to Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke, asking him to reconsider the amount of compensation.
The Daily News has an editorial criticizing the paltry deal, calling it "token compensation."