Both sides of power line issue see House vote as a win

WASHINGTON – Congress defeated an amendment Wednesday, 257 to 174, that would have blocked funding for a controversial federal energy corridor program that fast-track’s the construction of electricity transmission facilities like the New York Regional Interconnection.

Members on both sides of the power line issue saw the vote as a win.

A representative for">NYRI, a Canadian-backed company proposing to build a 190-mile long power line through eight upstate counties, called Congress’ action against the legislation, introduced by U.S. representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-Hurley) and Frank Wolf (D-Vienna, Va), a “victory for energy security and environmental stewardship.” NYRI contends its power line will relieve electricity congestion downstate.

U.S. Representative Michael Arcuri (D-Utica), one of the more vocal opponents of NYRI and the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor program – which could override state authority and give companies like NYRI the power of federal eminent domain to take private property – saw the defeat as a “good first-step” in educating other states about the pros and cons of creating a large-scale power line cattle call.

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