Victory in battle against NYRI, but the war's not over

NORWICH – Governor Pataki traveled to Marcy Tuesday to place his ‘John Hancock’ on legislation that would limit a Canadian-based company’s plans to take private property for a high-voltage power line.

The proposed 190-mile long transmission line would originate from Oneida County and end at the Rock Tavern substation in Orange County. New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. announced the project in March.

Tuesday’s action followed two months of discussions between the governor and the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton, and John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope. Libous said it would have been “irresponsible” to send it before addressing better solutions to energy problems downstate.

The new law will amend the Transportation Corporations Law to prohibit gas and electric merchant transmission corporations from using eminent domain in New York, if the construction increases rates in any part of the state and if the corporation did not receive early designation as a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor.

A spokesperson for NYRI said the eminent domain bill was “based on a bad premise” because the power line has benefits for all New Yorkers in the way of increased sales tax, decreased energy costs, cleaner power generation and incentives to the communities through which the line passes.

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