Northern Pass Vs. Souls and Sales

SOURCE: Seacoast Online
AUTHOR: Rep. Bill Baber, Ranking Member, House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee

Sunday’s article by Max Sullivan provided a good survey of the Northern Pass (NP) project. However, the article would have benefited from a richer discussion of the essential issue — should NP be buried?

A few quick facts. NP is a very green project. Green as in the color of U.S. dollars exported to Quebec annually at the rate of about $500,000,000. Much of that will be pure profit as the incremental cost of opening the spigot is marginal. Environmentally, green gets a little gray when you consider the consequences of Hydro-Quebec, NP’s energy source, flooding an area 80 percent the size of New Hampshire to generate their power. Also, NP has repeatedly stated there will be savings for ratepayers. This implies NP will sell power below prevailing wholesale rates, yet no contracts to that end exist. When and if contracts are signed, expect Massachusetts and Connecticut to gobble up all but a bit of this power.

Why are so many calling for the lines to be buried? When we share with others our love of New Hampshire it is impossible not to speak of our natural beauty. This literal vision of our state goes to the core of who we are. It also goes to the core of what attracts tourists to the state. Tourism is one of our top three revenue producing industries along with manufacturing and health care. So something scarring our landscape impacts not only our souls, but also our sales.

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