Immediate Release

Friday, April 27, 2007 

For Information Contact


Picente: ‘Not Yet Regional Interconnect’

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente today said that Oneida County will step up its fight against New York Regional Interconnect’s proposed power line.

“The federal ruling telling us that New York City needs greater access to energy says nothing we didn’t already know,” Picente said. “The issue with NYRI is not whether New York City has a problem, but whether the right answer is to allow NYRI to ruin huge areas of Upstate New York by an ill-conceived project that represents the biggest community and environmental disaster in all of Upstate’s history.”

Picente said the Oneida County will work with community activists, state and other governmental partners to prevent NYRI from moving forward with its project.

“Pre-empting local and state control is unconstitutional in addition to being just plain wrong,” Picente said. “The ruling that came out of Washington seems to point us in the direction of a resistance that will require a legal fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If that is what it takes to block this project, then that is what we will do.”

Picente said that although he was disappointed with the federal action, he believes that the fight against the project is far from over. Picente said that because it appears the fight will lead to litigation requiring additional expertise, Oneida County will be looking to expand its legal representation by hiring a Washington-based legal firm.

“We will work to present a united front against this project in upcoming hearings, and we will use our unity with other areas to keep fighting,” Picente said. “Some people may think this is the end; it is just the beginning of a new part of our fight to protect our communities. So let me make it clear: Ruling or no ruling, it’s Not Yet Regional Interconnect!”