Kelly introduces legislation to block eminent domain attempts by NYRI: Mid Hudson News Network (Newburgh NY), 7/18/06

Congresswoman Sue Kelly introduced legislation in Congress Tuesday that would close a loophole in national energy law and proactively preempt New York Regional Interconnect [NYRI] from invoking eminent domain to carry out its power-line project that would run from Oneida County to Eastern Orange County.

"Eminent domain is a tool that will likely be sought to advance this widely-opposed plan,” said Kelly on the floor of the House. In an effort to block that, Kelly introduced the Protecting Communities from Power Line Abuse Act.“

The proposed legislation would rescind a provision in the Energy Policy Act that allows permit holders to petition the U.S. District Court for a right-of-way to construct power lines via eminent domain. Kelly voted against the Energy Bill when it passed Congress in 2005, and she also opposed the legislation during attempts to pass it into law in 2003-2004.

"This gives eminent domain power not to an accountable government entity, but rather to private companies," Kelly said on the House floor. She noted that until this provision is repealed, local residents as well as their local and federal governments are powerless in preventing a permit holder from seeking eminent domain to build power lines.

NYRI is applying to construct a 1,200-megawatt electric transmission line across a 200-mile span of New York. The route proposed by NYRI will travel through the federally protected Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River - an area which is part of the National Park Service's National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Mid Hudson News Network: http://www.midhudsonnews.com