NYRI update – Constitutionality

I apologize for the non-timeliness of this NYRI update… but what the heck! Everybody’s late…

NYRI is now two months late in submitting its application for the project to the PSC.

“It’s not really delayed,” said NYRI spokesman David Kalson. ”They’re very complex studies, with a lot of moving pieces, a lot of outside experts involved.” That complexity means the studies are taking more time than expected, he said.

You mean, it’s, like, delayed? And I suppose there is no actual deadline the PSC might impose on a corporation that wants to build a big disruptive powerline project… But then again, that would be a “denial” and FERC could move right in.

Some anti-NYRI activists in Chenango County have catalogued the properties (only in their county alone) that would be affected by the project. You can read more about it here.

CNY Snakepit recommends keeping an eye on Michael Arcuri’s property.

Some criticism of Spitzer is vocalized, when it comes to his lip-service opposition to NYRI:

Lee Wratten, owner of Valley Signs in Clayville, which is located next to the proposed New York Regional Interconnection route, said it’s easy for Spitzer to say the power line won’t happen, but he needs to take action. “Talk is cheap, what has he done?” Wratten asked. “To say that it’s not going to happen doesn’t mean a thing. He’s got to back that up.”

Spitzer has more important things to worry about, I know. But this article in the Times Herald-Record on stalled civic improvements in Otisville (one of the hubs of anti-NYRI activity) implies that people’s efforts to improve their own village and businesses may already be affected by the shadow of this huge project looming over them for the past year and a half.

Anti-NYRI efforts are getting some support from south of the (state) border.

Here’s an interesting item, passed along to me by a reader who said it made him think of the NYRI situation:

Conservative Pennsylvanians Pass ‘Radical’ Laws Defying U.S. Constitution

Nearly 220 years after America’s Constitution was drafted in Pennsylvania, scores of rural Keystone State communities are declaring the document null and void. More than 100 largely Republican municipalities have passed laws to abolish the constitutional rights of corporations, inventing what some critics are calling a “radical” new kind of environmental activism. Led by the nonprofit Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, they are attempting to jumpstart a national movement, with Celdf chapters in at least 23 states actively promoting an agenda of “disobedient lawmaking.” “I understand that state law and federal law is supposed to pre-empt local laws, but federal law tells us we’re supposed to have clean air and clean water,” the mayor of Tamaqua, Pa., Christian Morrison, told The New York Sun…

Abolitionists in the early 19th century could “have ended up demanding a slavery protection agency — you know, the equivalent of today’s Environmental Protection Agency — to make slaves’ conditions a little less bad,” Mr. Grossman said in a 2000 speech comparing corporations to slave owners. Instead, “they denounced the Constitution” — which permitted slavery at the time — “and openly violated federal and state laws by aiding runaway slaves.”

I think this tactic was already tried (on the state level) with the wonky, highly questionable law last year that specifically targeted NYRI, no? However, if this story is accurate that “more than 100” municipalities have been doing this, perhaps such a tactic becomes a question not so much of constitutionality, but of “volume.” One wonders if Washington (or heck, Albany) would really notice at this point if 100 upstate NY municipalities passed 100 unconstitutional laws against corporate land grabs. In the end, it all boils down to enforcement of the Constitution.

It is worth noting that Con Edison has asked customers in Brooklyn to reduce power usage. (Anti-NYRI folks should not ignore what’s going on down there, because NYRI’s PR people won’t be — even though the real problem isn’t so much New York City as it is the city’s northern suburbs’ power demands.) See also this recent news item about efforts to close Indian Point. And here is a letter to the Times Herald-Record from a representative of the NY Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance that addresses some of the friction (perceived or real) between upstate and downstate interests. (Hey, it only took a year and a half for this discussion among citizens to commence.)

Lastly: This story about the power grid situation in Iraq should give us all a healthy sense of perspective about our own problems.

One Reply to “NYRI update – Constitutionality”

  1. I am turning red with outrage.

    In Utica, the restoration of even the tiniest change calls for “impact studies.” I know this is true for other areas.

    With a wave of the pen, the DOE and NYRI (and other cronies involved) can so smoothly wreak utter devastation– socially, economically, physically– on us so readily and so easily?

    Where’s OUR impact study?

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