Reading between the lines of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday, 2012 may be a year of project related environmental battlegrounds in New York.
Governor Cuomo reiterated his support for a fast-tracked replacement project for the Tappan Zee bridge — an endeavor that will have substantial impacts on the Hudson River ecosystem as well as regional transportation impacts for decades to come. Environmentalists are disappointed that the fast-track bridge replacement project makes no provision for necessary mass transit improvements.
Governor Cuomo’s promise that
“we will develop an energy expressway down from Quebec,”
sounds eerily like a promise to build the so-called “Champlain Hudson Power Express” project, a submarine electric transmission cable running nearly the length of the Hudson River, with its own set of environmental and ecosystem impacts.
And the Governor’s non-committal recitation of the status of hydro-fracking regulations for New York’s Southern Tier can hardly be reassuring to those fighting to protect New York Communities from the environmental calamities caused by fracking in Pennsylvania. Cuomo promised only that the DEC will take action of some sort in 2012:
“DEC is reviewing all the comments and expects the final environmental impact study and the advisory panel’s recommendations to be released in 2012, before any decisions are made on how to proceed.”
All in all, the State of the State address seemed focused on all the infrastructure project-related jobs the Governor hopes to create. Sounds like the State of the State address is a prediction of three big 2012 New York environmental legal battles.