CHENANGO COUNTY – New York Regional Interconnect has spent more money on lobbying, land options, public relations and legal fees than on developing technical analysis that proves its $2.2 billion power line is needed, NYRI opponents claim.
Communities Against Regional Interconnect, an eight-county alliance made up of citizens and government officials, is arguing that NYRI should use more resources showing or improving the merit of its project, rather than glossing over what it says are misleading facts and statements about the power line’s benefits to New York state.
To date, NYRI has spent just over $10 million on legal fees, government fees, public relations, salaries, lobbying, and land options, according to an application the company sent to the federal government seeking a 13.5 percent guaranteed rate of return on its investment. Another $3,296,379, or 24 percent of the overall expenditures, was used to pay for engineering and economic consultants.
“NYRI is spending millions of dollars for lobbying and public relations efforts to convince legislators, federal and state regulatory agencies and the public of the need for this project,” said Steve Dimeo, chairman of CARI. “Our assessment of NYRI’s application clearly shows a lack of technical merit, outdated images and maps, assumptions based on incomplete or flawed information and is missing required environmental impact, cultural resources and system reliability data.”