New York Moves to Control Transmission Corridors
New York officials are being proactive to counter the possibility that energy companies, under the mission of improving our national energy transmission system, will call all the plays in regard to where those transmission corridors run.
As I noted earlier this year, federal officials, working with transmission companies, are focused right now on the West in working to draw up a maze of energy corridors. Some of those come precariously close to national parks. Still to come is similar work in the East. Already one possibility has arose in New York State -- that an electric utility corridor will run right through the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
Well, in a move sure to create political fireworks, New York Governor George Pataki recently signed legislation that limits a company's power of eminent domain in the name of electrical and gas transportation projects.
"The use of eminent domain can have a significant impact on communities, and we must ensure that the legal power to take lands for public benefit is used appropriately," the governor said after signing the law. "Through this law, we will establish additional protections for communities across New York State by prohibiting transmission companies from utilizing eminent domain if a proposed project does not meet designated criteria.
"These new restrictions help to clarify the rights of a community and its residents, and will uphold their interests with regard to certain projects involving eminent domain."
Here's what New York state Senator John Bonacic had to add: "Across this country, Americans are alarmed that various state laws allow big business to take their property for profit. Governor Pataki is doing what every governor in this nation ought to do -- he is striking back for the average American and telling those who want to take our property for profit 'no more.' Laws must be made to work for people, not against them."
Any thoughts on how the Decider in Chief, whose allegiance to the energy industry is well-known, will react to such an upstart state?