By Joe Angelino
Martin Shkreli. Just reading that manís name invokes deep-seated feelings of anger. In case you forgot, Mr. Shkreli is the man with the boyish face flaunting the most infuriating grin that has ever deserved slapping. He is also the pharmaceutical businessman who raised the price of the drug Daraprim 1300% overnight, just because he could. Soon after his dubious business decision, the FBI arrested, and then convicted Shkreli for unrelated charges of securities fraud resulting in a collective cheer that was heard across America.
There is a new businessman attempting to reach the depths of Shkreli by tainting New Yorkís Adirondack Park, legally, because he can. The man is named Edward Ellis and he is the President of Iowa Pacific Holdings of Chicago. Iowa Pacific owns a half dozen short-line railroads in the US, one of which is the Saratoga and North Creek Railway which has track in Saratoga, Warren and Essex counties north of Albany. A portion of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway extends into the forever wild Adirondack Park.
There isnít a great deal of railroad freight traffic, if any, in the Adirondacks, with only a few trains dedicated to tourists and sightseers riding the rails in the North Country. But there is a need for the long stretches of unused tracks for storage of surplus railroad tank cars. There is a marked decline in crude oil and coal use which has caused a glut of unused tank and hopper cars. Coal hopper cars can be employed for other cargo, but an oil tank car is designed for only one use.