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Hitting our wallets. Saving our wilderness.

   Editorials from today's Buffalo News Opinion section:

- Another hit in the wallet - Buffalo News Editorial
   In the midst of New York's worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, the State Senate has voted to increase everyone's electric and gas bills. The Assembly is all but certain to follow suit. All of Nationalgrid which is to say, it's business as usual in the state capital.
   They haven't passed a budget yet, but they're on track to drive up the cost of living in this dysfunctional state. Who are these people? The 33 senators who voted for this assault on common sense — including
William Stachowski and Antoine Thompson, both Buffalo Democrats — are plainly seeking to curry election-year favor with the unions that will benefit from this legislation. More than that, they don't care a whit about what it does to the pocketbooks of rate-payers or the state economy in general. As we said: business as usual.
   On the other hand:
- Should NY Lawmakers Close Pay Loophole for Utility Companies? - Public News Service 
   Buffalo Assemblyman Sam Hoyt says some utility companies use contractors for such services as janitorial or security that pay less than eight dollars an hour. He says these regulated utilities can afford to pay workers a living wage, particularly when some of their executives earn millions of dollars a year.

- Designate the wilderness - Buffalo News Editorial
   Congress should support an effort by six conservation organizations, representing nearly 65,000 Pennsylvanians, to gain wilderness designation for parts of the Allegheny National Forest, that state’s only national forest and a natural area well within the reach of Western New Yorkers.
   The coalition is backing the Citizens’ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, a measure designed by Friends of Allegheny Wilderness in 2003. The proposal identifies 54,460 acres of wilderness-quality lands in the forest.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News 

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