Posts Tagged ‘Northern Pass Project’

Northern Pass Plot Thickens

May 26, 2017

The Northern Pass current proposal threatens the health and safety of Grafton County residents. Claims that the proposal would be cheaper than burying the line down I93 are simply not true. Here are potential dangers to residents that the NP is trying to hide.

Many old homes on our state roads where NP plans to bury the line have stone foundations. These homes were built close to the road before cars came in. Drilling required for burying the line risks and probably guarantees shaking the stones loose and crumbling the foundations of those houses. People not only risk catastrophic damage to their homes but their very lives if they do not vacate the premises.

Many residents have water rights across the road from their homes as roads often intersected people’s property. Those rights will be threatened with contamination by the power line.

School bus routes will be held up and children’s safety threatened getting on and off their bus. Children will be spending more time on the bus driving up transportation costs.

Landscaping for homes along the route risks being destroyed. Homes close to the road would lose their apple trees, rhododendron and other established shrubs. Limits would be placed on residents’ use of their own land with a buried line they must avoid.

Costs for accident injuries, fatalities, home restoration, artesian wells, school transportation costs, clogged commuter and tourist routes, and unnecessary disruption of neighborhoods will cost the NP project more in legal fees they carefully avoid adding in to their estimates. NP does not care if their current plan costs more because their private corporation stands to make more money once their long range plan is in place to sting New Hampshire residents with an archaic, expensive energy network.

The Department of Energy Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) advises that fully buried transmission lines could use the already disturbed median corridors in place, for example in I93. Those wide medians were designed for just such projects in the interests of the general public. The NP project has consistently refused to consider using I93.

If Eversource-Hydro Quebec cared about the people of New Hampshire, they would not be trying to impose such a destructive route on our citizens. Instead, they will continue to withhold actual costs of their project to the people of New Hampshire.

That is, UNLESS we New Hampshire citizens actively say, “NO to Northern Pass!”  Send your letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, c/o Pamela Monroe, Administrator, 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 10, Concord, NH 03301 or email: Pamela.Monroe@sec.nh.gov.

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Northern Pass Threatens NH Health

August 1, 2016

Northern Pass Project spokesman, Martin Murry, says NP cannot afford more burial and explains how “dependent its now uneconomic project has become.” Don’t believe it!

All those properties NP has purchased in the NH forest will be worked into their “plans for many more projects” the Eversource spokesman expects to promote. His vision seems to include a massive cobweb of towers and lines all over New Hampshire. NP is just one line through the tip of the iceberg.

Murray claims that NP reduces 3 to 4 million tons of carbon tons per year. NP seems to be ignoring the loss of carbon sequestering trees that NP will eliminate with their 500 miles of access roads and widened existing paths to support the NP high frequency power line. How many carbon sequestering root systems and mycelium will be decimated for their 35 foot pilings along with drilling through our granite? (And the polluting machinery needed to drill, transport, and bury tons of concrete, etc.) Where are the figures for the pollutants emitted to put in the line?

Today, we know that an expansive connective system exists below ground that far exceeds what we see above ground in our forest. For more graphic views of these systems, see How Trees Talk To Each Other with Susan Simard, Forestry Professor at UBC, on Youtube.

What can our forests teach us about how to get along with different people in the rest of the world we share? Look at how tremendous varieties of trees and plants all share space? Now, we know that trees and plants actually communicate with each other and help each other through this vast network below ground.

Currently, Maine (85.8%) and NH (78.4%) lead our nation’s states in percentage of timberland. If you would like a preview of what NH will look like if the NP and Eversource’s “many other projects” bulldoze through NH, just drive Interstate 80 West and see what the land looks like when power lines replace trees. You will see ‘big sky’ because there are few trees to block your view. And you will see why water is scarce, land is drying up, and drinking water continually threatens people’s health in our midwest.

One thing Martin Murray has right is that now is the biggest opportunity of a lifetime here in NH. However, the opportunity is not Murray’s plan to attack our forests; the opportunity is to save our forests and save our health.

Let us choose to honor and save our forests and our health.

 

Decentralized Energy for Health

July 28, 2016

This week’s news that Switzerland’s Bertrand Piccard flew a solar powered plane around the world without a drop of fuel sends our hopes soaring. We could not receive a stronger signal that help is on the way for alternatives that meet our energy needs.

Solar is but one of the new technologies in need of our attention and support if we want to make the shift to 21st Century technology. As far back as 2013, The World Energy Council recommended that utilities markets move toward decentralization. This would give customers more control over their power usage in their homes or businesses.

In January this year, HydroQuebec (HQ) announced that the Northern Pass Project (NPP) would cost $2.8 billion but HQ would only pay $607 million. New England would pay the rest. That does not sound like energy savings for NH or control over power usage. And there is no guarantee that a power failure further north would not generate a massive outage to the south. NPP is a grand example of stifling 20th century technology.

Long-term contracts for large scale hydropower from Quebec will not bring cheap or lower consumer electric rates, as HQ has already demonstrated with their Newfoundland Churchill Falls 40 year contract.

What might NH develop if so many citizens did not have to throw so much time and energy into stopping the NPP from destroying NH land and diversity, pitting families against each other, and threatening our future water supply by degrading our water-sequestering forests? People come from the world over to savor our lush forests, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife. All are threatened by this and the many other NH projects Eversource plans to pursue.

Solar and other yet-to-be-developed energy sources clearly demonstrate the power of decentralized energy to avoid large up-front capital investments and encourage pay-as- you-grow systems.

Time to embrace 21st Century technology, reclaim our right to safeguard our forests, diversify our energy technologies, say NO to centralized utilities, and enjoy the health and well being that comes with care-full actions.

 

Must We Practice Civil Disobedience for Health?

May 5, 2016

For six years, the Northern Pass Project has badgered the North Country, causing rifts among families who sold family property to the NP. The latest wrinkle in Colebrook should alert people that NP will stop at nothing to scam NH. Eversource/Hydro Quebec appears confident that they have the SEC in their back pocket. HQ has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to make a profit by ravaging Quebec.

Many of us were initially thrilled to hear that The Balsams was to be reclaimed. We were unprepared to see The Balsams as bait to accept the NP profit for destruction of our forest, waving the jobs flag for emphasis. Now, we are told that The Balsams depends on the NP Project. If that is the case, The Balsams project appears to be on shaky ground. Maybe The Balsams will go belly up with or without the pass if it needs a 2 billion dollar boost even to get started. With the ill feeling created by Les Otten’s bullying tack, many people may not choose to patronize The NP Balsams if it is ever completed.

For six years, large crowds have gathered at public hearings to oppose the NP Project. The NP project threatens our forests, wildlife, our health, safety, family and community well being, the independence NH is known for.

The wave of the future is not to cover the earth with a cobweb of power lines. A new town is being created in Florida, see babcockranchflorida.com. The town will run on solar in partnership with Florida Power and Light. Forms of renewable energy need to be explored in NH, not jeopardized by a foreign power company.

If the Northern Pass Project had spent their money burying the lines instead of bribing property owners and officials, the project would likely have been a done deal by now. NP’s resistance to burial and admission that they have plans for many more projects in NH should alert us to the further threat of many more power lines intersecting the state and tied into ISO New England’s master plan for NH. Eversource has many more projects in mind beyond the 192 miles currently planned for the Northern Pass.

Grant Township, Indiana County, PA has a similar problem with PA General Electric (PGE). PGE has filed for permission to frack wastewater injection wells. On May 3, 2016, Grant Township passed “a first-in-the-nation law that legalizes direct action that prohibits any private or public actor from bringing criminal charges or filing any civil or any other criminal action against those participating in non-violent direct action.” (celdf.org/2016/05/press release)

Our health depends on our ability to care for our forests and wildlife diversity, the safety of our wells, our homes, schools, and communities. We and other states need to explore sources of clean, renewable energy. NP is NOT clean energy! Hopefully we will not have to resort to civil disobedience to simply stay healthy.

Chew Before You Swallow

August 31, 2012

So many things are happening at once. Hydro Quebec is again bullying New Hampshire. This time, citizens will have to raise $2.5 million by October 31 to stop them. HQ seems to have endless millions to spend on its marketing campaign to push high voltage above ground power lines through New Hampshire but not one cent to bury the lines.

 While all this has the north country in particular riled up, wind farms are being installed as a form of clean, renewable energy. What we need to be awake to from a health perspective is that energy generated by the wind towers has to be carried (transmitted) from those towers and then distributed to our communities via power lines. The wind operations grid has a huge spider web of distribution lines planned to circle and criss-cross New Hampshire. Those lines can be buried; they do not have to be above ground.

 Chew on this: Gated communities and upscale developments in the state have buried their lines for years. Burying power lines is quite doable in New Hampshire. The issue Hydro Quebec has is that if power lines are buried down existing highways, the state of New Hampshire (that’s us, the public) would receive their rent money for the project. If the power is added to PSNH lines, that rent money would make a nice private bundle for their collaborators, PSNH investors, in addition to destroying forest land, threatening school playgrounds with high voltage stimulated health problems, gutting real estate values, ruining tourism, etc. That sounds like a pretty indigestible arrangement to me. 

Maine already has a law in place requiring new power lines to be buried. Upgrades are considered new lines. Our legislature is currently considering such a law for New Hampshire. The NH Dept. of Transportation has already advised the legislature that lines can be buried, lest we be sidetracked by NorthernPass rhetoric.

 In NH, we will continue to come up with more forms of clean, renewable energy. In whatever form, energy must go through three important steps: energy must be generated (Step 1), then transmitted (Step 2) and finally, distributed by either above ground or buried power lines (Step 3).  Now is the time to put the law in place to bury all new power lines, including upgrades. Such a law will avoid future health hassles for the distribution of whatever clean, renewable energy is developed.

 Chew on this before you swallow new above ground power lines. If you elect not to swallow this new above ground grid: Contact your legislators and urge them to enact a NH law to bury power lines. Legislator contact info can be found at www.burythenorthernpass.com.

If you want to help stop HQ’s latest Northern Pass bullying attempt, send your contribution to Society for the Protection of NH Forests, 54 Portsmouth St, Concord, NH 03301; or on line at www.forestsociety.org/np; or call 603-224-9945 and ask for Suzanne Kibler-Hacker at the Forest Society. Every contribution helps meet the goal by Oct. 31.

Northern Pass’s Hidden Water Rights Agenda Threatens Health

October 21, 2011

Make no mistake, our health depends on three basic rights: clean water, safe foods and green energy. These rights are the stuff of today’s wars, driven by corporations that now have outrageous and unlimited powers. These rights are inseparable. Water is predicted to be the principle cause of wars in the 21st Century.

It is taking us a long time to recognize the pattern regarding human rights that is being repeated the world over. Corporations, based on profits at any cost, have millions to spend on misleading propaganda while avoiding health, safety, and environmental provisions.

Hydro-Quebec has already managed to ravage much of it’s own formerly pristine province. They’ve put 215 dikes and dams in the James Bay project alone, displacing communities, and flooding hunting and trapping lands in violation of government treaties with the  Cree  Nation.

 Their later agreement in 1975, allocating acreage and a cash settlement to the Cree Nation, does not restore the fish habitat, the beautiful rapids and diversity that an environment needs to remain healthy. Thus far, in Quebec, only 2 of their 16 largest rivers flow freely today. Gone are the rapids in those rushing rivers that drew white water enthusiasts and vacationers to Quebec. 

Hydro-Quebec’s newest misleading propaganda for the Northern Pass (NP) project is found under the guise of MyNewHampshire.com. There, we can screen through beautiful pictures of NH rivers and forests by clicking on folks who assure us that all will be well for NH with the NP.

 What Hydro-Quebec doesn’t say is that the Northern Pass power line is only Step one in the destruction of our rivers, land, and forests. Step two will be to dam up our rivers for more power, as demands rise.

 Reporter Will Braun, in Canada’s This Magazine, gives us the chilling results of Canada’s 60 years of dam building: “Clean energy does not damage the environment, the ecosystems of rivers and forests, or native communities. The eventual dams that go with hydro-power mean pouring tons of cement into free-flowing rivers in addition to tearing up huge swaths of land for the power lines and raising ecosystem and human rights havoc.”

 Think about what dams would mean to our communities and environment should the Connecticutand Androscoggin Rivers become part of the game plan. We have made it clear that the tourist industry is what we need to focus on in Northern NH. People come here from all over the world to experience our natural environment. Here is where people can hike, ski, camp out, canoe and kayak, sail and relax, away from the hectic pressures of living in a frenzied world.

 To keep pace with our culture, we need to develop alternative kinds of green energy right here in OurNewHampshire that  provide for future needs, yet do not compromise our health and well being. Hopefully, we will be able to Stop the Northern Pass project and find better, innovative, long range plans to enjoy and share with the rest of the world.