editor’s note: The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests today initiated a fund-raising campaign it says is necessary in order to, in its words “thwart Northern Pass…” Our response:
SPNHF has used this project as a convenient fundraising tool to lock up land and prevent it from being used for economic development and job creation. We see today’s announcement as more of the same. They’ve tried and failed to stop the project. We will continue to work with willing landowners, because New Hampshire and the region need the clean energy, hundreds of jobs and many economic benefits it will deliver to residents for decades to come.
We have responded to previous concerns about the project by removing proposed alternative routes, and we’ve made exceptional progress over the course of the last several months in securing a new route in the North Country that has the support of landowners.
Business groups, as well as labor representatives, have expressed support for the project, citing the hundreds of jobs, reduced energy prices, and significant economic benefits it will bring to New Hampshire.
It was just three years ago that the Forest Society voted to support the construction of new transmission lines in New Hampshire, as a means to import more hydro and wind power from Canada. (See Action 2.6) That vote was part of the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan, which is aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide in New England. Northern Pass is a legitimate response to that recommendation.
Since that vote, New England’s dependence on a single fossil-fuel – natural gas, has grown to an historic 51 percent, posing a significant risk to the reliability of the region’s energy supply. More than ever, projects like the Northern Pass deserve consideration by all the public.