Sunday, May 20, 2012

Larry Rappaport Responds to Thomas J. May and Sets the Record Straight

Representative Larry Rappaport, Coos District One, responds to Thomas J. May, Northeast Utilities CEO. Rappaport points out that it is Northern Pass that has the support of only a few small special interest groups.

“I have never seen a project that everybody loves. There’s always resistance[;] there[']s alway[s] groups that will picket. The special interest groups will find something wrong with the project. [S]o that does not surprise us. It’s nothing we didn’t expect,” May said. (Thomas J. May, press conference, Hartford CT, May 16, 2012)

For Mr. May to say that "There's always resistance[,] there [are] alway[s] groups that will picket" indicates that somehow he doesn't understand the nature of the opposition to this elective project.

The so-called "resistance" to this project is not confined at all to "special interest groups."  It is spread across the entire population of New Hampshire residents.  Indeed, Northern Pass has the support of only a few small special interest groups.

Let's be clear: I, and others, believe that Northeast Utilities (NU) and Public Service Service Company of NH (PSNH) support this project only because of the revenue accruing to PSNH, an NU subsidiary.  I believe they have designated it "elective" principally because that category allows them a greater rate of return. According to the NH Public Utilities Commission, NH has a production capacity of 4000 megawatts while using, on average, only 1250 megawatts.  New England has production capacity which exceeds usage as well.  HQ wants to sell electricity into the high-priced NY metro market.  It wants to do that by expanding its already huge hydroelectric capacity. 

Several years ago, an ice storm took out HQ's feed to Montreal.  Parts of the city were without power for several weeks.  Will these new towers withstand such an onslaught?  Also, several years ago, a severe drought in the Northeast caused HQ to cut back on the power produced and reduce it to some users.  Does anyone think that if such a season occurs again that they will continue selling power to the "grid" and reduce Canadian usage?

In my seventy one years on this earth, the last 40 in New Hampshire, I have never seen such broad and unbridled opposition to a project such as has been shown towards this one.  Is it necessary for New Hampshire?  Of course not.  Is it necessary for New England?  The same answer applies.  Is it necessary for the United States?  Same answer, NO!

Larry Rappaport
NH State Representative
Coos District One
NH House of Representatives Science, Technology, and Energy Committee

May 18, 2012

Bury the Northern Pass responded to Mr. May earlier.