In a Jan. 30 editorial, we were open to Rep. Chris Gibson’s idea of building a nuclear power plant somewhere along the Hudson River in his district, which stretches from Dutchess County in the south to Warren, Essex and Washington counties in the north. Gibson wants a plant primarily for the economic boost it would bring. For us, the main reasons would be that the country’s need for energy has gotten greater at the same time this technology has gotten safer, and at the same time the environmental problems from burning fossil fuels have become much clearer.
But if a plant were built in this area — a big if, given that no plant has been built in the United States since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and opposition to nuclear power remains strong — it’s a question of where. Not Easton, where the Town Board last week expressed an interest in hosting a nuclear plant and voted to create a committee to study the issue.
Our opposition to Easton isn’t just a question of “not in my backyard.” The problem is that a plant there would ruin the magnificent view from Saratoga National Historic Park in Stillwater, which, like the park itself, looks pretty much as it did in the fall of 1777, when those battles were fought that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.
The battlefield is a key part of our heritage, sacred ground no less than Gettysburg, and the park superintendent has worked hard to save it from cell towers and anything else that would harm it. In 2007 the importance of protecting the view of the farms, rolling hills and open space in various towns, including Easton, was brought home in the excellent Battles of Saratoga Preservation and Viewshed Protection Plan, developed by the group Saratoga PLAN with a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Leave it in peace.