A few quick words on the federal ruling everyone monitoring the NYRI situation had been expecting for a long time. Or rather, one key word for people (like myself) who live outside of the area affected by this proposed project: Observe.
The company behind NYRI has always struck me as having two left feet when it comes to the jig of corporate greed. They have been somewhat amateur, not clearly understanding the willingness of their opponents to organize and fight. (And they didn’t have to understand, because they could rely on the 800-lb gorilla of federal government sitting on an ineffectual state government. Gov. Spitzer has inherited quite a turkey of a once-great state, and this domination by the federal government proves it.) NYRI’s opponents have been outmatched — yet, to my mind, the NYRI opponents have been surprisingly able to overcome some of the “divide and conquer” strategy that often works devastatingly well in Upstate New York. That’s in part because the NYRI project is so monstrous in scope, that opposition to it has crossed over county and sub-regional and even citizens’ own political lines, which to my mind is unprecedented. And the Upstate-Downstate card, which has always been kind of a low-valued ace in the political deck, was on the verge of being played in a new game of “aces high.” But not quite, here.
It’s been about a year and a half since opposition to the project revved up, and that’s a year and a half where some percentage of the population along the proposed route became politicized in new ways (and some small percentage has probably been radicalized). That’s a year and a half that has been a very good thing for Upstate New York. Stopthepowerlines advises:
We are past the point where we can declare a clean win, but there are many degrees of losing, and I hope you all start pep-talking yourselves into getting excited about how well we can do in defending our lands, our rights, our vision of the future and the impact of citizen power.
Central, Northern, Western New Yorkers, you are the next batters up. Albany is not going to save you when a NYRI-like project comes your way, and Upstate New Yorkers mean little if anything to the federal government. Observe.