The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce recently voiced support for the Northern Pass project, citing the creation of jobs and reduced energy costs, as significant benefits for New Hampshire’s business community, and others:
“…Reducing energy costs for all customers, substantial job creation, generating new tax revenue for state and local government, protecting our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and planning for our future energy needs are all laudable policy goals that our state is striving towards. Meeting each of these goals individually is a challenge, yet Northern Pass is a chance for New Hampshire to take a step forward on all fronts. We simply cannot afford to let an opportunity like Northern Pass slip by…
Northern Pass is how the free market is supposed to work – private enterprise working to bring superior, lower cost products to consumers. It’s time to work together to make this project a reality…”
Chamber President and CEO Robin Comstock outlined the group’s endorsement in a document that was published in the Sunday News on July 29. It is republished here with the permission of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Northern Pass project has benefits for state
By Robin Comstock
As one of the state’s largest business organizations with nearly 1,000 members, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce advocates on a variety of issues that have a significant impact on New Hampshire businesses.
One such issue that has been hotly debated as of late is the Northern Pass Project, which the Chamber believes will advance two of our organization’s strategic goals: promoting regional economic development and promoting a sound infrastructure.
Looking past all the controversy, emotion, and rhetoric surrounding this project, it is clear the Northern Pass project will greatly benefit our state’s business community.
The price of energy is commonly cited by our members and businesses across New Hampshire as a concern. Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts (enough to power one million homes) of cheap, renewable energy from Canada into New England. This translates into significant energy savings for New Hampshire and the region. Indeed, Northern Pass will reduce energy costs for New Hampshire customers by $20-35 million annually.
In addition, Northern Pass will provide New Hampshire with fuel diversity at a time when New England is becoming more and more dependent on natural gas, the price of which will likely not always be so low. Diversity, which brings stability, is good for business.
On the job front, Northern Pass will create 1,200 jobs per year over a three-year construction period at a time when job creation in the state remains sluggish. Northern Pass is committed to using local New Hampshire companies and labor for this project first, giving a shot in the arm to our neighbors and the local business community. In the long term, the creation of an additional 200 New Hampshire jobs per year is anticipated as a result of reduced energy costs as businesses can afford to invest elsewhere when energy is more affordable.
These economic benefits can be realized without compromising New Hampshire’s environment, an element of the project that appeals to members of the Chamber’s Green Committee. Indeed, the cheap, renewable hydropower made possible by the Northern Pass Project will improve the environment by reducing regional carbon dioxide emissions by up to five million tons each year – the equivalent of a year’s worth of emissions from one million cars.
It should also be remembered that the construction of transmission lines to import hydroelectric and wind power from Canada is an action recommended by the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan issued in March, 2009.
Reducing energy costs for all customers, substantial job creation, generating new tax revenue for state and local government, protecting our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and planning for our future energy needs are all laudable policy goals that our state is striving towards. Meeting each of these goals individually is a challenge, yet Northern Pass is a chance for New Hampshire to take a step forward on all fronts. We simply cannot afford to let an opportunity like Northern Pass slip by.
Northern Pass is how the free market is supposed to work – private enterprise working to bring superior, lower cost products to consumers. It’s time to work together to make this project a reality.
Robin Comstock is president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
A significant transmission system upgrade project in the State of Maine is steadily moving forward. A recent news article in the Bangor Daily News cited a Central Maine Power (CMP) official as reporting that the $1.4 billion project is on schedule and budget.
The article includes a mention of the jobs associated with the project. CMP reports that between 2,500 – 2,700 people are working on the project on a daily basis.
The Northern Pass project also anticipates job creation. Our economic study released one year ago estimates a peak in the range of 1,330 – 1,680 jobs during the first two years of the three year construction period.
The New England Power Generator’s Association today claimed that Northern Pass has overestimated the number of jobs that will be created as part of the project.
It is not surprising that the NEPGA opposes Northern Pass, since the cleaner and more economic energy it provides into the regional power pool may displace some of their own.
This is the same group of multinational corporations that last spring tried to argue that the savings Northern Pass will deliver isn’t enough.
To argue the project on the basis of jobs is surprising, though.
Just look no further than the neighboring state of Maine.
That’s a real life example of the positive impact Northern Pass will have here … and yet the power generators study did not even take a look at that project.
Here in New Hampshire, we’ve already heard from more than 550 individuals, who are seeking information about Northern Pass job opportunities. Their experience includes heavy equipment operation; general construction; welding; real estate; trucking; fiber optic splicing; concrete; and, administration.
We expect to be working with project partners here in New Hampshire on a future job fair.
A similar event was held in Maine and was very successful in attracting local workers who are now participating in the project.
Here’s a list of the job opportunities we anticipate being available when the Northern Pass construction project begins.
The Northern Pass project will have a significant and positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy; most notably in the job market.
We’ve posted a video featuring Joe Casey, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 490 (Concord, NH), who describes the effects of the three year construction phase on the local workers that he partners with every day.
An updated economic study, in April, 2011, reported:
“…The … economic analysis estimates total job creation from the three-year construction project to peak at 1,330 to 1,680 local jobs in 2013 and 2014; with 900 to 1,135 local jobs being created or supported in 2015…”
The project is committed to hiring local labor first. More information on project jobs, and a means to add your name to a jobs mailing list, is available here.
A significant number of new jobs will be created as a result of The Northern Pass construction. Our updated economic study breaks down the jobs by region, within New Hampshire.
The study was released today by economist Lisa Shapiro. “Our economic modeling demonstrates that this project would have deep and widespread economic benefits for the entire state,” said Shapiro.
The study shows that job opportunities will include typical construction industry work, as well as forestry and logging, professional/technical, and supply and service industry jobs.
Get on the mailing list to receive notifications of upcoming job fairs.
The possibility of installing broadband technology in northern New Hampshire as part of The Northern Pass project is being explored.
It’s an intriguing possibility, and one we are actively investigating.
We heard at the recent public meetings that some business creation opportunities have been lost, in part due to concerns about reliable communications.
The idea, then, is to utilize The Northern Pass to provide a strong and secure fiber infrastructure that business and industry can rely on.
Read the press release to learn more!