NYC papers call out state officials, upstate residents on energy policy

NORWICH – Recent editorials in two New York City newspapers criticizing state power line policy say the federal government’s designation of controversial energy corridors is “the right thing to do” since “Not In My Back Yard” anti-NYRI activists and lawmakers upstate are preventing “juice” from getting downstate.

Touting New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s $1.6 billion power line proposal, the two editorials call on the politicians and upstaters to see “the big picture” and “get power lines built – lines such as the New York Regional Interconnection – which would send juice from upstate to downstate.”

“The federal Energy Department is pushing New York to give fair consideration to a proposed power line that would deliver much-needed electricity from upstate to the New York City area,” states the Oct. 8 editorial in the New York Daily News titled, “Power to the People.” “It’s the right thing for the government to do.”

The Daily News columnist also calls out state lawmakers for creating a law that blocks NYRI’s use of eminent domain to take private property. “Never mind the city is starved for juice and gets walloped with high electric bills,” it states. “The pols cared only about pacifying upstaters opposed to new transmission towers.”

A second op-ed piece, “Emission: Impossible,” published in the Nov. 23 issue of the New York Post, attacks Governor Spitzer’s energy policy. Specifically, the author claims Spitzer’s “anti-nuclear” stance – asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct further reviews of the Indian Point Nuclear plant, which as of spring 2007 had several contamination and safety issues – and his push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forcing power plants to purchase carbon allowances for every ton of carbon emissions, will drive costs for power plants, weaken energy supplies and increase electricity bills for New Yorkers whose “demand for electricity shows no signs of abating.” When combined with Spitzer’s open opposition to NYRI, the editorial asks, “exactly what kind of energy does he favor?”

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