A Letter to the Concord Monitor, December 23, 2010
(reprinted by permission of the author)
(Founder and Executive Director of Project Laundry List, Alexander Lee received his B.A. from Middlebury College and his law degree from Vermont Law School. Alex was Assistant to the Commissioners at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, where he worked on energy efficiency programs; he has also served as staff co-chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Energy Resources & the Environment and was an active, regular participant in the New England Demand Response Initiative. Formed in 1996, Project Laundry List promotes simple, effective ways to save energy and money. Alex lives in Concord NH. He has generously granted permission to reprint his thoughts on PSNH's Northern Pass.)
What will Gov. John Lynch do to make his mark on New Hampshire now that he approaches his fourth term? If his friend, Gary Long, CEO of Public Service of New Hampshire, prevails, Lynch will not leave so much a mark as a scar. What a legacy!
New Hampshire is a net exporter of electricity, much of it generated from the dirty resources that PSNH still owns. Northern Pass Transmission is not a public utility, so one must wonder how, without a purchase power agreement, NSTAR/NU plans to invoke eminent domain to destroy the real estate and aesthetic values of the North Country so that it can pipe electricity to Massachusetts and Connecticut. It is not in the public good.
Hydro-Quebec (a foreign corporation) is desperately trying to wheel its power to markets across the Northeast in a buyer's market where natural gas prices have hit rock bottom. This whole project makes no sense right now, and if you want to spend $1.1 billion on an energy project (or what could be referred to as PSNH's second bailout), how about investing in conservation and efficiency?
With the highest rates in the region and an aging population, one has to wonder who Lynch thinks will be here to pay the property taxes and use the electricity. PSNH has already lost oodles of commercial and industrial customers. This cockamamie scheme will not stop the bleeding.
Bury the Northern Pass is a group of concerned citizens in Grafton County who work in coordination with our neighbors to the north in Coos County. To join the email list, write to email@example.com.