State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope), today that our region has won "another round" in the battle against New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI). According to published reports in the Times Herald Record, FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer has said he will recuse himself from deliberations on the project.
"We have taken away NYRI's best friend at FERC, and that will make their life a little more difficult," Bonacic said. FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will ultimately pass judgment on much of NYRI. "By taking NYRI's best friend out of the jury box, we will make this proceeding more fair and are removing some of the stacked deck that NYRI has tried to line up," Bonacic said.
Bonacic was the first official in the State to call for Spitzer to recuse himself on the NYRI project, a call followed up by several elected officials. "This is another victory in our fight to stop NYRI. We are not going to propose alternatives to a project which is unnecessary. We are, round by round, winning this fight. We want to stop the project - period," Bonacic said.
NYRI has testified that their project will actually raise rates upstate by $166 million per year. "That is $166 million that can't be used by our families to buy food, clothing, make their mortgage payments, and be invested in our local communities. It is not just the blight - NYRI costs our families more - all to make power cheaper in New York City. That is bad and this is why we must stop it," Bonacic said.
The Senator added that this is another round for our region in the battle against NYRI. "We won Round 1 - they moved away from the Delaware River route; we won Round 2 - the PSC ruled the application was incomplete; we won Round 3 - the Feds denied early designation to NYRI; we won Round 4 - the State Independent Systems Operator said power lines were not a favored solution; and today we won Round 5 - NYRI's leading proponent has taken himself out of the lineup in Washington."
Commissioner Spitzer, from Arizona, had publicly stated NYRI was a "no brainer", effectively endorsing the NYRI application - before the matter had even reached his desk. His comments appeared in a July edition of an Arizona newspaper. The comments were posted on the paper's web-site and found by a Bonacic staff person researching the NYRI project.