Congressional candidate Richard Hanna vows to fight power line

UTICA, N.Y. - Congressional Candidate Richard Hanna today emphasized his commitment to not only fighting New York Regional Interconnect's proposed power line, but ending the ill-conceived plan. Hanna's vow came after New York's Public Service Commission deemed the power line proposal "complete."

"We cannot allow this proposal to become a reality and destroy our property, our neighborhoods and our quality of life because New York City has been negligent in its power generating decisions," Richard Hanna said. "As our community's Congressman, I will not sit back and watch NYRI trample on the rights of property owners and misuse eminent domain."

The state Public Service Commission Wednesday determined the company's application for a 1,200-megawatt power line, which would run from Marcy to Orange County, to be complete. Richard Hanna said that he would step forward to defeat the proposal saying that "Upstate New York needs results to finally end this battle - not another two years of promises."

Hanna questioned how current Congressman Michael Arcuri has spent his time in Congress voting his party 98 percent of the time, but has yet to use his influence to eliminate this misguided project.

Last year, Arcuri failed to get legislation passed that would have postponed for one year the final designation of the Mid-Atlantic Area National Corridor (Hinchey-Wolf Amendment, vote failed 257-174, June 20, 2007) which includes the power line proposal.

"Michael Arcuri couldn't even convince his colleagues to support an effort that would delay NYRI's project, so how will he halt the proposal forever," Hanna asked.

An important issue that must be pursued is the nature of the tax incentives, which encourage the construction of these lines, Richard Hanna said. Tax incentives have corrupted the system, but they also offer us another avenue to fight this proposal, he added.

"We need to demand that special tax benefits are eliminated, thereby taking extraordinary profit out of construction," Richard Hanna said. "In our market economy, these power lines should be self-sustaining and not given special incentives. We should not be asked to subsidize our own destruction."

Opponents to the NYRI project point to soaring electrical costs, ruined scenic views, declining property values, harm to wildlife refuges, potential health risks and general destruction of historic areas as reasons for their opposition.

Recently, Arcuri sent a letter to the Public Service Commission urging it to use the thruway right-of-way for NYRI's project as an alternative.

"It is impossible to imagine how my opponent has offered the thruway as an alternative when the fundamental case for NYRI has not been made," Richard Hanna said. "We can't let these hulking electrical towers ruin our lives to power downstate."

"New York State and New York City have had many opportunities to address the metropolitan area's appetite for power but have failed to act," Richard Hanna said.

"The city has failed to allow new generating plants to be built downstate that would alleviate many of the shortages they experience," Richard Hanna concluded. "Instead, the state and the city look to place their problems on the backs of upstate New Yorkers and we won't stand for that."

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