State heavyweights challenge Washington’s ‘energy corridors’

CHENANGO COUNTY – Washington’s newly-acquired authority to take over the New York Regional Interconnect power line case, and others like it, is unwarranted and founded on watered-down studies and brash legal interpretations, at least two state agencies contend.

The state Public Service Commission – the agency that approves or denies power line projects in New York – and the Department of Environmental Conservation both say the feds overstepped their bounds when creating two “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors” last month.

Inside the corridors – one of which covers 47 counties in New York – the federal government can take over a power line review if a project has been denied at the state level or its approval has been withheld for more than a year after filing a permit application.

The corridor policy is meant to increase investment and upgrades in the electricity grid in areas that have been deemed “critically congested” by the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE.

A press release issued Monday on behalf of the PSC claims the DOE designated the corridor in New York based on an unfounded prediction that New York’s energy consumption and its need for new power lines would increase.

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