MIKE’S POWER FIBS
Adam Victor is angry with the Bloomberg folks.
Not merely because they’re blocking his effort to build a power plant at the Bayside Fuel Depot in Brooklyn.
But also because of the shabby way they’ve treated him and his company, TransGas Energy.
Victor’s story may be the clearest sign yet that former businessman Michael Bloomberg, who swept into office with no political background -or at least his aides -finally have become politicians in the true New York mold.
That is, something south of forthright.
Consider the testimony of Joe Chan, a top aide to Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, at a hearing last year on Victor’s plan.
Asked if Team Bloomberg opposes TransGas’ plan to build a plant in New York, Chan said no. “In fact, we support the construction of new electric-generating capacity,” he said, “and recognize that such new capacity is necessary to meet the city’s growing energy needs.”
Did the city, then, have an alternative site to suggest?
Yes. “A former petroleum . . . facility owned by ExxonMobil.”
And is that site available to TransGas?
“Yes,” said Chan. Officials had talked to ExxonMobil for “several months” and believed it “would be willing to sell the site to TransGas.”
In a post-hearing brief, Assistant Corporation Counsel William Plache called the site “both available and preferable.” Even Mayor Mike pushed the Exxon parcel on his radio show.
But TransGas says Bloomberg & Co. knew all along that oil contamination at the site would kill any possible deal.
And if they didn’t know, they should have -because TransGas had argued the point until blue in the face.
Last month -more than a year later -Bloomberg’s lawyers conceded.
“The City will be unable to assist TransGas . . . in acquiring the [Exxon] site,” Plache wrote in a letter obtained by The Post. And “it is clear that ExxonMobil” would not sell to TransGas.
Why? “Potential liability relating to that property” as a result of the . . . contamination.
So the site is not available, after all -just as TransGas said.
Victor was livid.
“It is inconceivable that N.Y.C. did not reach this conclusion when it began investigating the site during the summer of 2003, saving state and city agencies, the applicant and the other parties significant time and resources,” Victor’s lawyer wrote Plache a few weeks ago, in a letter also obtained by The Post.
Also inconceivable is that the aide overseeing the issue for Bloomberg is his deputy mayor for economic development, Dan Doctoroff -Hizzoner’s link to the business community and the man who should care most not only about adequate power, but also treating businesses right.
“N.Y.C. was on notice from Day 1 . . . It was clear during the hearings that the ExxonMobil spill in Brooklyn was much larger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, where the damage claims now total $6.75 billion . . . N.Y.C. vehemently resisted acknowledging the gravity of assuming this serious financial obligation.”
A Doctoroff aide now argues that City Hall had other spots, besides the Exxon site, in mind -but couldn’t name any.
Nor had other sites been discussed, Victor says.
Because none would work.
Mayor Mike and Deputy Dan are entitled to oppose new power plants in the city.
But they should admit it.
That would be bad enough, of course, given that they acknowledge the need for new juice.
But worse is their failure to be straight.
And with the public.
Welcome to the New York Politicians Club, Mayor Mike.