Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced a new “energy czar” position in New York, then promptly introduced Richard Kauffman as just the man for the job.
“There’s an opportunity to have New York State be a model in many ways, including in energy,” Kauffman said following Cuomo’s State of the State address.
A long-time New York resident, Kauffman will finish his work for the federal Department of Energy, where he works in clean energy financing, deployment and market development, and by Feb. 1 he’ll be working on state energy infrastructure and solar power initiatives, including a new $1 billion “green bank,” while overseeing the Department of Public Service, NYSERDA, the New York Power Authority and the troubled Long Island Power Authority.
“I’ve been very fortunate to serve in the federal government, and a lot of things I’ve been trying to implement are of course very difficult to do in Washington,” Kauffman said. “States are the laboratories often for policies, and so the opportunity to work in a very big important state with a governor and Legislature that have a commitment to take on some of these big challenges, it’s not going to be easy but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”