February 28, 2011

Landowners Should Be Able to Say No to Northern Pass

This story in the Union Leader by Paula Tracy begins to tell the many stories of individual landowners who would be directly and negatively impacted by the proposed Northern Pass towers and power lines. And as many landowers will tell you, even the mere proposal has dropped property values and stymied real estate sales.

February 27, 2011

Additional DOE Scoping Hearing Scheduled

The Department of Energy will hold an additional "scoping" meeting on March 18, from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center, 8 Depot Street, in Plymouth. U.S. Senators now seem to be engaged in the Northern Pass issue. See the press release from Sen. Shaheen here. The DOE list of all six public hearings can be found here.

Shaheen Urges Transparency and Fairness in Northern Pass Proposal

The Northern Pass debacle has reached the ears of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. In a meeting with the many opponents of the proposed Northern Pass tower and powerline proposal, Sen. Shaheen said that it's her goal "to make sure the process ... is transparent and fair." Read Union Leader reporter Lorna Colquhoun's story here.

February 24, 2011

EIS Conflict of Interest Still Unresolved

The Dept. of Energy apparently has not figured out how to deal with the issue of the conflict of interest inherent in assigning a Northern Pass contractor to work on it's own Environmental Impact Statement for ...Northern Pass. Read the latest story by Tara Ballenger of the Concord Monitor here.

February 17, 2011

Northern Pass Scoping Hearings Scheduled for March

Town meetings will be just a warm-up for those citizens looking to offer public input on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement that must be prepared as part of the process for Northern Pass to acquire (if that's possible at this point) a needed Presidential Permit to cross the Canadian Border with new proposed HVDC lines and associated towers. Scoping hearings have been scheduled by the US Dept. of Energy as noted here

DOE's EIS Process Under Fire

The Dept. of Energy is being pressured to reconsider it's process for selecting the firm tagged to conduct the all-important Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Northern Pass project, as reported by NHPR's Chris Jensen here. Tara Ballenger of the Concord Monitor also reports the story well here

Northern Border War

The Forest Society's Washburn Family Forest, 2,100 acres and six miles of upper Connecticut River frontage conserved in Clarksville, is among the protected lands that will be impacted by the newly revealed international border crossing of the proposed High Voltage DC power lines and associated towers. Coverage in the Union Leader by Paula Tracy and Lorna Colquhoun can be found here.

February 11, 2011

Towering Over Concord

The Homestead on Garvin Hill, built by Jesse Garvin in 1820

Patty Humphrey of Chichester was one of the last to speak at Tuesday's hearing at the Statehouse, and she reminded listeners that the visual blight of the proposed Northern Pass will  have significant impacts in central New Hampshire as well as up North. Northern Pass's proposed preferred route would tower over historic Garvin Hill in Chichester where she lives. She was kind enought to send me a note restating her point of view:
Dear Jack,
Like many of those who made statements concerning the advent of Northern Pass at the hearing on February 8, my husband Gordon and I love our home, love our land and love New Hampshire. We have tried to be good stewards and good neighbors during the 30 odd years we have had the privilege of living here.
What many of those who testified didn't seem to realize was that the power line not only threatens large swathes of raw wilderness, scenic beauty, and private property in the North Country, but also hundreds of parcels of land and historic structures in the Concord area.
Pending a waiver by the FAA allowing the line to stay on the ROW close to the Concord airport, it will leave the ROW in the Broken Ground section of Concord, cross I393, and continue through historic residential areas of Chichester and Pembroke. As was stated about other areas, it would appropriate property through eminent domain, debase the environment, destroy economic value, and decimate the tax base of the affected areas.
Residents of Chichester and Pembroke are banding together to save their towns and the Concord area from devastation.
Patty Humphrey
Chichester, NH

February 8, 2011

Stop the Towers at the Statehouse

Tremendous turnout at the Statehouse in Concord for the press conference about HB302 and the opposition to the Northern Pass proposal. For an mp3 audio file of the press conference, featuring remarks by Jim O'Brien (Conservation NH), John Harrigan, Valerie Herres, John Amey and Jane Difley (Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests), click here. Conservation NH posted videos of the press conference here, here,  and here.

Short Circuit on HB302

So here's the question of the day. If, as HB302 sponsors claim, the attempt to rewrite the renewable portfolios bill had nothing to do with allowing cheap imported ower from Hydro Quebec to qualify for renewable energy credits...then what WAS it about? Listen to NHPR's story about it here, or read about it in the Concord Monitor here. Meanwhile, dozens of opponents from the North Country will be arriving at the statehouse for a press conference at 12:30 Tues, Feb. 8 about HB302 and Northern Pass.

February 6, 2011

Burying the True Costs

Northern Pass likes to say that the power they would import from Hydro Quebec is inexpensive. Yet, as this Associated Press story by Kathy McCormack demonstrates, the idea of burying the transmission line is "too expensive", which begs the question: too expensive for whom? What the story does not include is the point that the proposal completely ignores the economic cost of lower property values, local jobs and tourism to New Hampshire businesses and residents, nor the cost of the environmental degradation caused by 45 miles of new transmission corridor superhighway.

February 4, 2011

Harrigan on Point

John Harrigan's latest salvo on the Northern Pass proposal hit the Union Leader on Thursday and is online today here. John is a stahlwart opponent who understands intuitively that the proposed corridor offers nothing for New Hampshire and everything for corporate interests in southern New England. I'm glad the UL put this one online so that people have the opportunity to comment.