Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism

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Stephen Cutcliffe


Appropriately and wittily titled, Lifset’s book presents a well-researched and lively account of the political and environmental power struggles surrounding Consolidated Edison’s plan to construct a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant at Storm King Mountain located in the Hudson River Highlands, fifty miles north of New York City. The debate over the potential consequences of the proposed plant did much to shape the early history of the broader, modern environmental movement in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. During the course of nearly two decades, the struggle over electric power generation at Storm King led to “a new balance” of power regarding “the relationship between the need for energy production and the desire for environmental quality” (xiii).

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