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New York Neighborhoods Find Themselves Between a Grid and a Hard Place
Aired August 25, 2003 - 05:52 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Two New York neighborhoods find themselves between a grid and a hard place, especially now, following that big blackout.
CNN's Darby Mullany explains.
DARBY MULLANY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, ethnically diverse enclaves of artists and families just across the East River from Manhattan. But here along the community's waterfront, TransGas Energy envisions replacing this oil depot with a new power plant. And as in many communities facing similar proposals, residents here say no way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my home. I live here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No power plant in Greenpoint/Williamsburg.
MULLANY: It's a classic case of NIMB, not in my backyard. Locals fear a power plant would threaten the environment, their health and their hope of using these lots for homes and park space.
EDWARD VALE, PACE ENERGY PROJECT: TransGas Energy is trying to come into this community, which is already over burdened with a huge amount of, you know, garbage, transfer stations and all kinds of environmental problems, and the community has spent the past 10 years to create this great revitalization plan for the waterfront.
MULLANY: While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sides with the residents and plans to suggest an alternate location, he insists power plants in the city are necessary. MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: We have to understand that we have got to build transmission lines and power plants to continue life as we want it. It's a sad fact, but it is true.
MULLANY: TransGas Energy says its proposed facility would convert natural gas to electricity, improving the reliability of the city's electric supply.
JAMES RYAN, TRANSGAS ENERGY: We certainly think that new, efficient, black star power plants and improved transmission and new grid work, which will all be part of this, is certainly an improvement.
MULLANY: The company is trying to make its plan more palatable. It promises an environmental clean up that will make the plant site architecturally appealing. But opponents still balk.
VALE: A rose is a rose. A power plant is a power plant is a power plant no matter what kind of, you know, windows you stick on the outside.
MULLANY (on camera): So who will decide the fate of this Brooklyn neighborhood? Well, a final decision on the power plant rests with a state board and it's expected to weigh in with its say next spring.
Darby Mullany, CNN Financial News, New York.
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