Power-Plant Hungry

Photo: Todd Selby

Adam Victor really dislikes Dan Doctoroff. A lot. Doctoroff didn’t take the TransGas CEO’s last-minute $700 million West Side bid seriously. And he has long blocked Victor’s plans for a power plant on the Williamsburg waterfront, which City Hall just rezoned for high-rises. Now Victor’s about to sue to scuttle the Williamsburg plan. He spoke to Greg Sargent.

If you win, it’ll be another defeat for Doctoroff. I assume you were happy about the stadium.
With the West Side, Doctoroff perpetrated the biggest scam since Teapot Dome. He bamboozled the mayor into thinking we could get the Olympics.

Wait—is this suit personal?
No. I’ve spent a lot trying to build the plant. Doctoroff is against it.

But what’s wrong with the rezoning?
People moved to Williamsburg because they didn’t want to live in Manhattan.

Surely they didn’t want a power plant either. Doesn’t the plan offer parks?
Ugly parkland built on contaminated land. Coal gasification plants were there. Also, there’s a sludge line [beneath] where they want to build high-end housing. No one will live on top of a pipe pumping 800,000 gallons of shit each day. They have to reroute it.

Okay, but what’s the lawsuit’s basis?
We’ll show that the environmental-impact statement failed to address the sludge line.

How much will you spend?
Upwards of seven figures. If we lose, it won’t be for want of funds.

How much are you worth?
A hundred million.

From? The power plant I built for Syracuse University.

Why bother with another?
It would be worth billions. Yes, I could retire. I have hobbies—weightlifting, judo, harness racing. We own 110 horses. But I don’t believe in retirement. I’m the best power-plant developer. Why does Bill Gates develop new products?

Suing the city’s no way to make friends you might need later.
Under the law, if the state supports the plant, the city can’t stop it—though Doctoroff told me he’d kill it by not letting it get water.

Who wants it in Albany?
Many Senate and Assembly staffers. The city needs a reliable power source. Plus, it would be built in an underground bunker—it can withstand any post-9/11 attack.

Yet still no groundswell of public support. Why?
Power plants are not sexy.

Power-Plant Hungry