No, we don't think the governor's signing the bill that would block NYRI's use of eminent domain was a political stunt, and, yes, some credit is due to our local representatives. Nevertheless, let's not get carried away. As has been the case with a number of announcements from our current administration/representatives which have been accompanied with great fanfare in the region, the rhetoric is long but the substance lacking. (Eg., the practically non-existant "Center for Brownfield Studies" announced in 2001, the "Homeland Security Training Center" announced a few months ago, and just announced, but soon-to-be quashed State Data Center.)
The bill's passage and its signing represent a fortunate (for us) confluence of both Downstate and Upstate interests. . . . A significant number of Downstaters also don't want this powerline ... And in our Post-Kelo-Decision environment, a significant number of New Yorkers don't like the use of eminent domain by private companies, either. 'Juice' by our local reps it ain't!
The governor's performance was reminiscent of Pontius Pilate washing his hands . . . The impression is that New York State has now done all that it can do to stop the powerline. Of course, this is untrue. While the governor mouths the widely held (upstate) opinion than more electrical generation facilities should be built closer to the place of electrical consumption, the fact is this has yet to be made state policy. The State has NOT done its homework, and is sorely in need of more generators Downstate ... The governor and our Albany representatives well know that the lack Downstate generation capacity will cause the FEDERAL government to ultimately make the decision ... AND give NYRI the power of eminent domain to do what it wants. But they'll say they've "done all they could do" and wash their hands . . . . and Upstate will continue to go down the drain.
[Update 9:30PM: Biggus Dickus over at CNY Underground has a perspective on this story ... and a HAIKU, too, just for you!]