Couldn’t help but notice, some are still making the case that the NBAF will be a cash cow for their community in Georiga.  While more Connecticut politicos have stated that they would oppose the Plum Island expansion. Two Connecticut lawmakers, State Sen. Andrea Stillman (D-20th) and state Sen. Len Fasano, (R-34th) submitted their bi-partisan comments opposing the Plum Island expansion. Why are people still in favor of the facility in Athens?

“The estimated $12.5 million to $24.7 million increase in tax revenue far outweighs any fear of unwanted growth or minor environmental issues”.

There you have it, the estimated revenue is placed above “fear of unwanted growth or minor environmental issues”. In Connecticut not so much, state Sen. Andrea Stillman makes a very compelling and wise argument to the contrary;

Still, Stillman argued, “Economics should not be the sole deciding factor in a decision affecting the health and safety of the people living and traveling in the area.”

Now these politicos represent districts which have the potential to be affected by Plum Island’s operation. Ever heard of Old Lyme, Connecticut ? Why do they not welcome the estimated millions in revenue for Connecticut? (You can read their letter here)

The Plum Island site is located in the country’s most densely populated metropolitan region, which is home to some of the world’s largest transportation networks,” Stillman’s letter states. “We are gravely concerned that you have ignored the possibility of widespread transmission of diseases, both regionally and internationally. … “

The letter goes on to say that upgrading Plum Island, which is part of New York state, would increase its value as a target for terrorists in a “small section of the East Coast that is already carrying more than its fair share of potential terrorist targets.”

This is also the argument Leroy Watson, Legislative Director with the National Grange made in his congressional testimony back in May before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“Our concern is that a facility located on the mainland would attract an extremely broad universe of potential terrorist or criminal organizations to use an attack on the facility to advance their goals,” Watson stated.

What was it DHS undersecertary Jay Cohen said? Oh yeah, “build it and they will come” this is one thing I hope he is wrong about. But honestly this debate will not end until the final site selection is made sometime in October. Even then some will not change their minds because;

Although the nay-sayers seem to be the more vocal side in this debate, we find Mead and Homeland Security more credible sources.

Daniel Mead, which the quote references is an associate research scientist with the College of Veterinary and according to his recent interview with the Red and Black. “Mead has visited Plum Island three to four times each year since 2000 to perform research as part of an agreement with the Department of Agriculture”.

If crediblity was the only issue at hand, sanitized statements would suffise however this debate is also about transparency, Mead just added to the lack of,

“Part of the USDA and the Armed Forces’ mission is to train not only veterinarians but the next generations of scientists.”

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