Michael Bloomberg says he's not running for President, yet he continues to maintain a high profile in policy matters. In his latest step, the New York City Mayor is working hard on his Solid Waste Management Plan (SWAMP) for handling garbage.
Bloomberg has had a tough time with New York State politicians in Albany, who have failed to enact key legislation for SWAMP. SWAMP involves a plan to funnel all of New York City's garbage up the Hudson River, where it would be processed just north of Albany in Green Island. This would generate methane and a new plant would be built to convert the methane into ethanol to be used in cars, reducing US dependence on foreign oil and minimizing global warming.
Local critics complain about the smell and how it would impact Albany and its surroundings, but the mayor and his constituents argue that Albany stinks anyway. NY Governor Eliot Spitzer responded: "Albany doesn't smell that bad. It's really Troy up the river that smells, and that drifts down to Albany. The proposal to use Green Island would make things a lot worse." Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian denounced Spitzer, calling Spitzer "a downstate Democrat who's never been to Troy." Tutunjian said the smell really comes from Schenectady. Bloomberg laughed when he heard that, asserting that "Schenectady -- that doesn't even sound like a real name. He's making that up!" Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton insisted that the city does exist, though he refused to spell the city name for reporters.
Republican leaders say that if Bloomberg can overcome opposition and get his plan rolling, it would demonstrate his ability to get things done, and enhance his chances at getting the GOP nod if he does decide to run.