CHENANGO COUNTY – The controversy surrounding a federal energy policy that could fast-track massive power line projects isn’t exclusive to New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s proposed 190-mile route through upstate.
Following the passage of the 2005 Energy Policy Act and its call for National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors – geographic areas where power line developers would have the federal authority to take private property and where power line projects could be pushed through by Washington, even if they have been denied at the state level, private transmission investment and opposition to it has surfaced in both the east and west.
The U.S. Department of Energy is currently holding a public comment period regarding two possible corridor designations – one covers parts of California and the Southwest, the other cloaks a swath from Virginia to Northern New York state – that were announced in May. Here are samples from the first 100 comments posted on the department’s website (note, the following posts have not been edited):
• “The Sunrise PowerLink project is an ill-conceived ‘solution’ based on old technology. Save the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the livelihoods of Borrego Springs residents who depend on tourism to drive our local economy. PowerLink is the kiss of death. There’s got to be another answer!” – Gwenn Marie, President, Borrego Springs (CA) Chamber of Commerce.