Tag Archives: northern pass

Update: Support Grows for CLF’s Fight to Secure a Fair Review of Northern Pass

From the Conversation Law Fund site regarding the DOE and its corrupt decision making process involved in approving the Northern Pass project.

Update: Support Grows for CLF’s Fight to Secure a Fair Review of Northern Pass

Two weeks ago, CLF exposed and brought to the public’s attention internal government documents showing that the Department of Energy (DOE) has illegally allowed the developer of the Northern Pass transmission project, Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) to have significant and improper influence over the ongoing permitting process and environmental review of the project. After filing its concerns about the information with DOE, CLF issued a call to action, urging the public to join CLF in demanding that DOE replace the contractor team charged with preparing the crucial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was handpicked by NPT, with a new, unbiased contractor or internal team with no conflict of interest.

We’re pleased to report that the responses – your responses – to the revelations and our call to action has been remarkable.

In the past two weeks, more than 300 members of the public (and counting) filed comments with DOE demanding replacement of the contractor team and a new commitment to a fair and open permitting process for Northern Pass. (You can take action yourself and file your own comment via this link.)

Yesterday, in a joint letter to DOE, a group of nine organizations representing New Hampshire’s conservation community and the grassroots opposition to Northern Pass, along with more than 60 individuals, expressed their deep concerns about the information exposed by CLF and called for a new EIS contractor with no conflict of interest. (Coverage on NHPR here.)

Read more on the CLF blog.

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Northern Pass Proponents Say They Have 99% of Land – Numbers Disputed

Where’s the beef? NU stumbles through investor presentation today
Did NU say it will need a “new new Coos route” because of the Forest Society’s project to thwart the “new route”?
The Northern Pass portion of NU’s presentation to stock analysts today was notably lacking in substance, enigmatic on some occasions, and flat out wrong on others. The widely anticipated “new Coos route” announcement was not made. In fact, Leon Olivier, PSNH CEO, deferred it to the end of Q4, despite his earlier statement in July that NP would have the new route by the end of Q3. Another delay, in other words. And he pushed the 2016 project completion date back to 2017.
There was tricky math as well. Mr. Olivier claimed to have 99% of the lower 140 mile route sewn up. This literally cannot be true. NP does not have an approved route through the WMNF, roughly 7% of the lower 140 miles. If he meant 99% of the entire 180-200 mile route, the figures still do not add up. If the missing 1% (which surely is more) involves having to loop around the blocking parcels of the Trees Not Tower campaign, there’s a lot more mileage than Olivier is owning up to.
And Thomas May, CEO of NU, struggled to find words to answer a simple question about how filing alternative routes with the DOE would affect the timetable. He danced around until he seemed to say that NU will have “other preferable routes” to the current “new Coos route.” Will these be called the “new new Coos routes”?
 
“Okay. Question has to do with potential alternative — alternatives that we would have to file with DOE regarding Northern Pass, and how it may affect the schedule?
 
“Thomas J. May – Chief Executive Officer, President, Trustee and Member of Executive Committee
 
“Yes. If you recall, we did announce a route approximately 18 months a few years ago, and shall we say, we got a lot of feedback on that route. This new route will be the alternative to that previous route. We think this route is — it will be — it’s a good route. It will be more beneficial. It will — it is citable [siteable].We have other alternatives that we have looked at, and really — although there are different routes, you’re going to run into the same issues. Because if you have — we think what we’ve found is around a route that has the least impact on the environment, the least impact on the communities, but we will have other preferable routes. I wouldn’t speculate on what that would do to the overall cost of the project, the other routes or the timing of the gas flows at this point.”
The message to the opposition: keep on doing what we are doing, only more of it. Northern Pass appeared to be in considerable disarray today.
NHPR report
Northern Pass: Claims Progress On Route
By Chris Jensen
Despite opposition, the Northern Pass project is doing well, according to company officials.
During a conference call with industry analysts, officials from Northeast Utilities insisted they are happy with the progress they are making.
“I am pleased to say that we have about 99 percent of that 140-mile right-of-way right now either acquired or we have under agreement. The last essentially one percent we are working through the final details.”
That’s Lee Olivier, an official with Northeast Utilities, which is behind the Northern Pass hydro-electric project.
But the Northern Pass project does not have permission to use about 10 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, and that would be roughly 7 percent.
Nor did Olivier directly address progress on the route through Northern Coos.
A Northern Pass spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Northern Pass has been playing a kind of real-estate chess game with opponents.
Opponents of the project are trying to block a route in Northern Coos, using tactics such as conservation easements.
Oliver said the project still hopes to file that new route with the U.S. Department of Energy by the end of the year.
That filing will trigger a new series of public hearings before the Department of Energy which must still approve the project.
Comment:
Jim Dannis .
Olivier appears to have misstated the length of the Northern Pass lines as 140 miles rather than 180 miles. Of course, who knows the current length of the preferred route, seeing as it has not yet been announced! But let’s stay with the supposed facts on the table. So, NU’s mistake #1 was to misstate the route length.
Assuming Mr. Olivier of NU slipped up on the length of the Northern Pass transmission lines and meant to say “180” rather than “140”, he still made a material misstatement.
The preferred route runs through the WMNF. Northern Pass has absolutely nothing, zip, zero, nada, in terms of land rights for the majority of the 10 mile WMNF crossing. The only way they get to cross is if they obtain a brand new, discretionary, temporary permit from the US Forest Service. The standards applicable to a new transmission line like Northern Pass in the WMNF are exceptionally high and, in the view of many, impossible for Northern Pass to meet. Forgetting to mention the WMNF issues was mistake #2.
Let’s go further and assume Mr. Olivier messed up the route mileage and forgot about the details of the WMNF. He has still made yet another material misstatement. To say that only 1% of the route mileage is not yet obtained or contracted is to sweep under the rug the problems created by that 1% (if 1% is the right number!). For example, the Forest Society’s “Trees Not Towers” campaign involves blocking parcels along Northern Pass’s preferred route. Going around blocking parcels, if it is possible at all, would almost certainly require long, sweeping detours. This will multiply route mileage. Mistake #3: failing to explain the consequences of the remaining blockages.
One could go on and on, but the reader should get the point. A senior NU executive was apparently unable to explain clearly where Northern Pass stands with its preferred route. He made at least three material misstatements in just a few sentences. Hopefully the press will assist Mr. Olivier in clarifying the facts.
Getting your voice heard: how to write effective scoping comments
Venting at Northern Pass may be a good therapeutic exercise, but it won’t do anything to stop the project. Responsible Energy Action LLC (REAL) offers suggestions about how to get your voice heard in the regulatory process. It’s the only vote on the project you’ll have. Now is a good time to work up a substantive comment that the DOE cannot ignore.
the preceding from Trees not Towers
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Interview with an activist and organizer of Hands Across New Hampshire

The Opposition to the building of Northern Pass, the 180 mile Transmission Line to be built to carry energy from Project Hydro-Quebec the length of NH is growing to include many environmental groups. The Society For The Protection Of NH Forests is one group. (see the summer newsletter) In this interview with host, Deb Reger, guest Michelle Cunha talks candidly about the process the corporations are quilty of. NH legislature is awaiting a study on burying the lines instead of towers.

Listen to the podcast

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Maggie, oh Maggie Don’t You Love Us?

A precarious balance indeed, but Maggie trusts the tender care of Grover.

Word has come across the desk here at Progressive Action NH headquarters that Democratic Governor-Elect, Maggie Hassan betrayed us.   In a marriage made in hell, Maggie has turned her back on us, visiting the McQuaid’s shrine of William Loeb and then stooping to kiss the golden ring of the “No Tax Pledge” of gad-fly, unelected, unofficial American financial strategist extraordinaire, Grover Norquist.  Ok, we made the first part up, we don’t know if Maggie visited the shrine or not.

Many who have followed politics for any length of time know that bzillionaires like nothing better than to keep the money that others have earned for them all to themselves by not paying their fair share in taxes. Maggie, how can you support New Hampshire families and workers if you want them to shoulder the tax burden for the wealthy?  If Buffy needs a new pony, she should buy it herself — and pay the taxes on it.

Just like any addict, Grover and his minions have worked long and hard to make sure everyone is cool with his dysfunctional behavior.  And just like every addict we’ve ever known, they can’t be comfortable until they know you’ve grabbed that glass and taken a big swig yourself — then you’re in the in crowd.  As long as the crowd is doing it,

its fine right?  Maggie, didn’t your mama tell you? You lay down with dogs (or DINOS), you’re gonna get fleas.  Now we know that New Hampshire has had that “no new taxes” pledge for quite some time, attempting to strangle government in a corporate motel room bathtub, but these days Maggie, people outside New Hampshire are taking notice.

Anyway Maggie, you’ve come late to the party and who’s left but the die-hard addicts? Many have decided to its time to sober up and leave the party.   The kids don’t know you anymore, your spouse said something about filing for divorce, the rent is unpaid, the house is a shambles and on top of it all, you’re about to lose your job.  Time to get to rehab.

So why is Maggie going all in? Its been known for a quite awhile now that drugs and alcohol hurts the body and the mind. 

Also, as we stated in a previous post here, Maggie has demonstrated an inability to take a position on Northern Pass.

Maggie, oh Maggie, why have you forsaken the New Hampshire way?  The “No Tax” pledge is as dead and smelly as a Ronald Reagan zombie and Hydro-Quebec looms large with its promise to string up New Hampshire like a boulevard in a third world country, er I mean Japan.

Someone please, do Maggie a favor and plan an intervention!

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