March 15, 2011

Popular Opposition to Northern Towers Evident at DOE Hearing

More than 350 people traveled from Deerfield to Pittsburg to attend the first Dept. of Energy scoping hearing held in Pembroke on March 14. The representatives of Northern Pass were on hand to hear the 60 people who spoke--all but two of them spoke out against the proposed power line. The purpose of the hearings is to offer input to the DOE on what should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement they will commission to evaluate the environmental, economic and social impacts of the power line development if it were built.

"We urge you, in evaluating the ecological, economic and social impacts of this proposal, to envision and rigorously analyze a broad range of alternatives, among them the “no action” alternative," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. "As a nation we should adhere to the tenet of medicine and 'First, do no harm'.

A recording of Difley's comments can be heard here thanks to WTPL 107.7 The Pulse.

"There has been a suggestion that the opposition to this project as proposed is simply a NIMBY, or “not in my backyard” reaction to visual blight and ecological harm," Difley said. "It is unfortunate that the proponents of Northern Pass do not consider 180 miles of New Hampshire part of their own back yard. We do. In fact, the Weeks Act was signed 100 years ago this month to establish the eastern National Forests—most notably the White Mountain National Forest—in large part because the nation recognized that our forested landscape was its back yard, and that protecting our timber, water, wildlife and tourism resource was paramount. We believe this is more true today, not less."

You can read Difley's complete comments here. Read Tara Ballenger's coverage of the hearing in the Concord Monitor here. WMUR Channel 9 coverage can be found here. Dan O'Brien's story in the Union Leader can be read here.

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