When I began writing about New York Regional Interconnect a year and a half ago, I was concerned about what precedents this power line would set if water shortages ever became a big political issue in future years. Here I was thinking maybe 10, 20 years in the future – which made a “NYRI watch” seem almost like an academic exercise. But I never dreamed that conservation issues would so swiftly come to the fore, and that I’d be spending increasing time writing about water policy.
NYRI is still a grim threat for people living along the proposed line, so last week’s development is a bit of good news: NYRI can’t sue the state over the Bonacic law passed last year, that stopgap move that I likened to using the silverware as cannon shot. (Here’s a refresher on what’s in this law.)
Perhaps all this means is that a little more time has been bought before the Feds move in with the dogs. But the Utica Observer-Dispatch, in an editorial, exhorts the region to stay united and to press for a coherent statewide energy policy. This is, after all, a New York problem — and if New York would just take care of its own problems, that would fend off the federal government and the corporations looking to profit from the Empire State’s weaknesses and divisions. (Are you listening, Gov. Spitzer?)