Rep. Mike Lawler, Assemblyman Matt Slater, State Senate Candidate Gina Arena, and Town Supervisor Mike Cazzari Condemn Senator Peter Harckham’s False Claims on Battery Storage Legislation

June 14, 2024

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Carmel, NY – June 14, 2024 … Today, Congressman Mike Lawler, Assemblyman Matt Slater, State Senate Candidate Gina Arena, and Town Supervisor Mike Cazzari released a joint statement condemning State Senator Peter Harckham for spreading falsehoods regarding his controversial battery storage legislation (S7834) and its implications for local control.

A recent op-ed by State Senator Harckham misled the public and distorted the facts surrounding his bill that sought to remove local input on battery storage projects across New York State. Harckham’s bill would have transferred control of local zoning decisions to unelected bureaucrats in Albany, undermining the autonomy and voice of local communities.

Town Supervisor Mike Cazzari emphasized, “The residents of Carmel and Somers raise valid concerns regarding the environmental and safety implications of the proposed battery storage facility. The ORES legislation circumvents local input and rushes these projects without thorough examination. We staunchly oppose any actions undermining local governance and remain committed to advocating for our communities’ right to participate in decisions impacting them directly.”

“Senator Harckham’s attempt to mislead the public is disappointing,” said Congressman Mike Lawler. “His bill was a blatant effort to strip away local control and push through battery storage projects without proper consideration for the concerns of residents, and now he’s lying about the purpose of the legislation – it’s frustrating that Harckham, similar to Mondaire Jones, is resorting to lies in an effort to score political points.”

Assemblyman Matt Slater emphasized the importance of local control, stating, “As a former town supervisor, I understand the critical role that local control plays in maintaining the quality of life in our communities. Senator Harckham’s legislation is an attack on local control and his attempt to paint it as anything else is an outright lie. The residents of Mahopac and Somers deserve better.”

State Senate Candidate Gina Arena also criticized Harckham’s misleading statements, saying, “Senator Harckham’s op-ed is nothing more than a desperate attempt to save face after his bill rightfully failed. His proposal ignored the legitimate concerns of local residents and sought to centralize power in Albany. By pulling his name off the bill, he tacitly admitted its flaws, but now he tries to mislead the public about its intent. This type of political double-talk is unacceptable.”

New York’s 17th Congressional District is just north of New York City and contains all or parts of Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties.