NYRI update

I kind of thought there was this twist coming, and soon. Upstate New York is now officially a blank spot on the map.

It’s the news that New York Regional Interconnect has been waiting for. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman will announce this afternoon that his department considers much of New York State a “national interest electric transmission corridor,” according to the office of Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley.

NYRI is pleased.

Yup! Upstate New York is now officially a blank spot on the map. (And those lil’ folks still living in Chenango County can just git along south or west or wherever it is they flee to, just like the Injuns were made to.) But what’s truly galling is that the hearings about this designation are only going to take place in Washington and New York City. Personally, I think if Hinchey et al. are not able to secure an upstate hearing, there should be a gigantic powwow held in Norwich anyway, preferably during the New York City hearing, and it should be very, very loud — and disruptive, at least to the media cycle.

Not holding a hearing upstate? That’s just bullshit, and demands a response.

Update: Shazaam! Arcuri, Hall and Hinchey join up with bipartisan Superfriends from Pennsylvania and Virginia…

East Coast lawmakers banded together Thursday in a bid to short-circuit a federal decision making it easier for power companies to build major power lines like the New York Regional Interconnect. On Thursday, a group of lawmakers said they would try to use the annual spending bill for water and energy to specifically bar the government from going forward with the corridor plan. Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, said his constituents in New York’s Hudson Valley were “in a fighting mood,” and willing to take that fight to Congress. Others, like Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Carney, charged a line in his district “is basically a flyover” — doing nothing for his district while providing power to other areas…

In northern Virginia, the federal decision could boost plans for a 550-kilovolt power line that opponents charge would spoil the beauty of Civil War battlefields. “This would desecrate hallowed areas, hallowed ground,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.

Response delivered, I guess.

Hm. All this talk of states’ rights, and now Civil War battlefields? That’s some potent imagery. Although, no offense to Virginians, but I think our Mohawk Valley residents can match any of them in the “for our sacred honor” rhetoric – some are already hauling out the flag.

All this resurrected rhetoric sorta reminds me of that climactic scene in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, where Angela Lansbury raises up all the ghosts from each era of England’s past and drives the Nazis back to France. Although to be honest, I must say that this move still has the clank of silverware-down-the-muzzles. I guess we’ll see.