Tag Archives: white mountains

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.
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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Northern Pass – Not the Option for New Hampshire


We at Progressive Action NH believe the way of life for New Hampshire, the economic lifeblood of the North Country region, and the health and welfare of the public and the White Mountain area and beyond are threatened by Northern Pass.. Even small power companies oppose the project.

Public Service of New Hampshire, it’s parent Northeast Utilities, and Hydro-Quebec, the companies involved in this project attempt to sell the public on the lie New Hampshire will share in the power transmitted along the lines. However, the entire state is no more than a conduit route for feeding power to the high demand regions of Boston, MA and Hartford, CT, and potentially New York City.  This article from a southern New Hampshire news paper sums up the points very well.

We also believe Northern Pass represents the latest in a long line of intrusions on and to the destruction of our natural landscape and resources, life that depends on it, not only by Hydro-Quebec in Canada, but also by all corporations that rely on the extraction or use of natural resources as a means for profit.

We believe through direct action and education residents of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York will become aware of the threat to their livelihoods and the environment that sustains us all. We know we the people can stop the pillaging our natural resources for the profit of a few if we come together. In this instance and in many others (such as Trailbreaker Tarsands Pipeline) we believe the motives of these giant utility conglomerates has nothing to do with sustainable energy generation and everything to do with building more infrastructure to reap more profit at the detriment of human health and environmental devastation.

The infrastructure is proposed not to met present energy demands, as nearly all states in the country produce a surplus of energy. In fact according to eRedux.com, a site that offers information on renewable and green energy,

“New Hampshire is not an energy intensive state, both total energy consumption and per capita energy consumption are among the lowest in the country.”

The larger metropolitan areas of Hartford and Boston are seen as potential future importers, with the possibility to continue southwest to New York City.  The proposal represents an effort to lay the groundwork for future expectation of rising electricity use during the summer months when cooling demand is expected to increase due to global warming.   Studies show the effectiveness of education which leads to changes in use, as usage rates countrywide continue to decline.

In fact, Hydro-Quebec and the associated utility companies on this project demonstrate complete indifference, if not opposition, to any development or discussion of conservation, renewable energy production, or more importantly, developing awareness of global warming. Corporate utility conglomerates, using Green Washing techniques, wish to lull people into the belief that energy companies have their best interests at heart. Clear evidence exists to prove otherwise.

Utility companies have a vast store of capital at their disposal due to the combined dependency of the public on their services and their for-profit structure. Like all corporations, they exist to realize a return for investors and stock holders and therefore have decided to spend their capital waging a war against common sense.

As a result in New Hampshire, the effort to acquire land and approval for the project has threatened land values and divided neighbors and families. In a cynical bid to garner support among workers, they have made huge, unfounded promises of future jobs. These jobs will not provide New Hampshire workers with sustainable careers paying living salaries and giving the employee an opportunity to save for retirement.  The jobs created will be temporary and many believe populated by out of state and out of nation workers. New Hampshire needs jobs that will last a generations, not jobs that will disappear each season to transient workers.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, of which many of PSNH’s workers are members, has put their support behind Northern Pass based on a promise of job creation. Study after study shows the projections to be optimistic, temporary and narrowly focused at best. The IBEW’s support of this project is short-sighted over the long term interests of the rest of the state. We condemn the use of workers by corporations as a wedge to advance their agenda. That said, we do support unions. We do not want the IBEW to feel attacked. We feel they made the wrong decision and invite them to reevaluate Northern Pass and the jobs issues. We will be happy to engage in respectful dialogue with members of the any union to show how detrimental Northern Pass will be to our economy, livelihoods, health, and environment.

itunes pic

Hands Across NH is a direct action against Northern Pass and Trailbreaker. We encourage people from around the world to get further involved in the planning and strategizing this event, which is planned for Labor Day weekend. Details are on the following pages:

Facebook page
Facebook Event Page
Hands Across New Hampshire

We will be having a strategy session at the home of of one of our organizers on Sunday, June 17th at 2pm. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know on the pages above or by contacting us on our Progressive Action NH facebook page.

Hands Across New Hampshire is a peaceful, nonviolent, family friendly event to visibly oppose Northern Pass and Trailbreaker. Please become involved by organizing your community to hold hands for 30 minutes on Saturday, September 1, 2012 from 3-3:30.

Other organization’s statements against Northern Pass: (these organizations are also included in our blogroll, if we missed something here, please notify us).

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests ( position statement)

Trees Not Towers

Even Newt Gingrich opposed Northern Pass

Alliance Against the Northern Pass

Protect the White Mountain National Forests

Conservation Law Foundation

Sierra Club

Bury the Northern Pass

No Northern Pass

No Northern Pass Coalition

Facebook : Stop the Northern Pass

Live Free or Fry

Appalachian Mountain Club

Responsible Energy Action

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