Sunday, July 15, 2012

The County With No Mafia

Flag-map of New YorkFlag-map of New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Map of New York highlighting Oswego CountyMap of New York highlighting Oswego County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)TARAKHIL, AFGHANISTAN - SEPTEMBER 08:  America...TARAKHIL, AFGHANISTAN - SEPTEMBER 08: American project manager Gordan Timm looks over the U.S.-built 105MW Tarakhil Power Plant on September 8, 2011 in Tarakhil, Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Kabul. The $300 million USAID-funded plant has been criticized for the high price of the electricity it produces, mostly due to the exorbitant cost of transporting imported diesel fuel through Afghan war zones to operate the facility. Currently the plant runs at an average of 25 percent of capacity, only supplementing electricity for Kabul, which primarily uses cheaper imported power as well as hydroelectric power produced in Afghanistan. Proponents of the plant say that, although expensive, the Tarakhil plant helps provides energy independence for Afghanistan. Almost ten years after the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. government is spending some $2.5 billion in 2011 alone on development projects in Afghanistan. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)      When the second Nine mile Point plant was built there was an investigation of the cost over runs. The investigation was sparked by the opposition to the plant and the billions of dollars the actual cost of the plant was an the estimated cost. What I will call big power company meets Central New York corruption.
       One investigation discovered that many of the welds in the pipes of the plant were never xrayed as required by the nuclear regulatory required at the time. It derttermined that one xray had been done of one weld on one pipe and been submitted as the welds on all the pipes in the plant up to that point. This probably came out because someone was not payed off as is usually the case in these things.
     While doing the investigation it was reported that the mafia controlled the cement supply to the plant and that this had a huge impact on the cost of the cement and the availability of that cement. To this day no criminal investigation has publicly taken place in to those allegations and yet the nine mile plant stands and there is talk of building another in Oswego near it. Of course it should be stated that no county in Central New York has ever mentioned the mafia in the years before or since nine the nine mile plant was built, so perhaps organized crime hasn't found Central New york.
     Hopefuly, for the Company that is proposing the new plant, this was all just bluster, but one wonder where those billions of dollars in cost over runs went. We never got a real answer to that.
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