Update on Anti-NYRI Battle
By Sen. David J. Valesky
The battle against the New York Regional Interconnect power line proposal continues on several fronts. Representatives at the federal, state and local levels are all working together to combat this project and to collectively oppose the federal government’s National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) draft designation for our area – a designation that could ease this project's approval.
As many readers are aware, Congressman Mike Arcuri (D-Utica) held two public gatherings in the past month and also recently testified before the U.S. Department of Energy’s public comment hearing on the issue of NIETC draft designation held in Rochester.
The state legislature was in session during this hearing, so I and other State Senators were unable to attend. But that did not stop us from submitting testimony. Together with Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) and several other colleagues, I submitted testimony to the Energy Department’s hearing opposing this draft designation and reiterating New York State’s right to pursue our own energy solutions without federal interference.
Prior to the federal hearing in Rochester, Sen. Griffo and I also made known our vehement opposition to the location of the public comment hearing. Simply put, we said that it was not right for the federal energy department to hold the public comment hearing 130 miles or more away from the public most directly impacted by the lone proposed project in the Northeast’s draft corridor area.
Also last week, the State Senate passed a resolution formally registering our opposition to the NIETC designation for a large portion New York State, and several other states. In the resolution, we also sought the support of these neighboring states in opposing the federal energy department interference in state energy policies.
As is clear, the fight against the NYRI proposal continues and will until this project is defeated. As always, I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and on all levels of government, to defeat this power line. And I know the citizens groups organized against the proposal will do the same.