Water Man Spouts

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thank You, Senator Clinton

In the past couple of months, I have posted essays on a few of the candidates in the democratic primaries. My goal is to try to focus on some of the strengths that each of our candidates has. It is important to me to consider what each of the democrats who wants to be president has to offer those of us at the grass roots level. If we are being asked to invest our time and money in the primaries – and eventually in the 2008 elections – then I think that we need to look at each candidate.

In this weekend’s edition of The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY), there is an interesting article titled "Senators take aim at NYRI: Schumer, Clinton introduce bill to block power-line plants." The article explains how Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton introduced a bill in the senate that would "restrict private power companies from using federal eminent-domain to acquire property …. (and) also block companies from seeking federal approval for their projects" when state officials are attempting to exercise control over them.

The two democratic senators are enjoying the strong support of grass-roots activists throughout up upstate region. The NYRI project involves a proposed 200-mile long 400-kilovolt transmission line, which would be on 100-foot tall steel towers placed every 800 feet along the 200-mile route. The plan is to deliver cheaper electricity to the lower Hudson River Valley, which the private corporation admits will cause an increase in price for upstate residents.

The plan involved an Otsego County businessman, who by no small coincidence was a personal friend of Karl Rove. In recent years, a Rove visit to Otsego County caused a small group of democrats, greens, and other progressives to protest his fouling the atmosphere. The NYRI (New York Regional Interconnect, Inc.) has created a far larger group of people to organize to resist this modern attempt to impose a feudal system in our state.

I note that local US Representative Michael Arcuri (D-Utica) has been an active supporter of the progressive, grass-roots movement, as well. The work that these democrats are doing will benefit not only New Yorkers, but also those who may be subjected to efforts by energy interests to establish "energy corridors" in other parts of the US (including one being considered by the federal Energy Department for the western US).

One of the major concerns that I have as we enter the 2008 election season, is that too many candidates for office in the House, Senate, and the White House are too responsive to corporate interests, and deaf to the needs of human beings. Too often, immediate financial gain for the friends of the Karl Roves is considered more valuable than the natural resources and historic sites that once destroyed can never be replaced.

Those concerns are raised when we discuss many of the democratic candidates, including Senator Clinton. In fact, I raise those questions myself from time to time. I say that to say this: as a progressive grass-roots activist, I know it is important to give credit where credit is due.
And in this case, Senator Clinton deserves our respect and our thanks.

For more information on the STOP NYRI, go to:


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