Supreme Court to Take Up Northern Pass Appeal

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

The state Supreme Court will weigh in on Northern Pass.

The court didn’t set a date for oral argument but on Friday issued a Dec. 11 deadline for the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to file a copy of the case’s record.

That committee last February unanimously rejected the proposed $1.6 billion hydroelectric transmission line.

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s decision to accept our appeal is a positive step in our ongoing efforts to move this critical clean energy project forward, and we are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate that New Hampshire siting requirements were misinterpreted and incorrectly applied in reviewing Northern Pass,” Eversource said in a statement.

The state Site Evaluation Committee unanimously rejected the project on Feb. 1, and on May 24 rejected requests to reconsider its decision and resume deliberations.

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Opinion: Northern Pass Appeal Ignores Wishes of NH People

SOURCE: InDepthNH
AUTHOR: Michelle Sanborn

Eversource recently appealed to New Hampshire’s Supreme Court, contesting the Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) denial of Northern Pass. This appeal was expected by those in the NH community rights movement because when corporations don’t get the answers they want, they challenge the decision-making system, with only required consideration for the wishes of people affected by a proposed project.

This kind of corporate jockeying is par for the course in a state and federal decision-making system made up of a web of regulatory agencies that operate not to protect people and planet but to facilitate corporate applications like that for Northern Pass. Were the system truly designed to protect rather than to facilitate, local people affected by proposed corporate projects would sit at the decision-making table with real authority, not merely with permission to make token public comments regarding their local needs.

Corporations like Eversource take advantage of this clear imbalance in determining power. In the case of Northern Pass’s SEC process, Eversource condescended to communities all along the way. Anyone opposed was disregarded as biased—as anti-progress, anti-“clean energy,” anti-supposedly reduced energy costs and anti-jobs. Dismissed were the voices of the people on the ground who would feel the real effects of the project where they live—effects including long-term disruption of their human communities and the ecosystems therein.

True, people spoke out against Northern Pass despite their mere advisory capacity, and true, the SEC denied the project application. But the two are not correlated. The SEC did not deny Northern Pass because the people didn’t want it. Nor did the SEC deny it because it wasn’t good for New Hampshire’s people, economy, or environment. Had either been the case, the SEC would have denied Northern Pass long ago, for the people clearly and vocally haven’t wanted it for some 8 years.

The SEC denied the project because the application didn’t meet the required criteria. If the application had met all the criteria, then the SEC would have been legally obligated to approve it because the SEC, like all regulatory agencies, is in place to facilitate the operating of corporate projects. Period.

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Northern Pass Asks Court to Force Reconsideration of Transmission Project

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

Northern Pass submitted an appeal to the state Supreme Court on Friday in an effort to force a state committee to reconsider its rejection of the proposed $1.6 billion hydroelectric transmission line.

“If allowed to stand, the orders will erect major obstacles to the siting of new energy projects in this state, as the process becomes a popularity contest instead of one bound by the rule of law,” the 150-page appeal said.

The state Site Evaluation Committee unanimously rejected the project on Feb. 1, and on May 24 rejected requests to reconsider its decision and resume deliberations.

The 192-mile Northern Pass route, which includes 60 miles underground, would run from Pittsburg to Deerfield through more than 30 communities.

“It sure sounds like the last gasp of a dead project,” said project foe Jack Savage, vice president of communications and outreach with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

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Northern Pass Plans Appeal to State Supreme Court

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

Northern Pass officials plan to file an appeal with the state Supreme Court by an Aug. 13 deadline in an effort to jump-start a hydroelectric transmission project that a state committee denied.

The Site Evaluation Committee on Thursday issued a 72-page written decision that, it says, “memoralizes” its May 24 deliberations over whether to reopen hearings on Northern Pass.

“This starts the clock for us,” said project spokesman Martin Murray.

The project attorneys have until Aug. 13 to file their appeal, which could take a year for a decision, Murray said.

The committee had unanimously rejected the $1.6 billion project on Feb. 1 and on May 24 rejected requests to reconsider its decision and resume deliberations. The 192-mile Northern Pass route, which includes 60 miles underground, would run from Pittsburg to Deerfield.

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Site Evaluation Committee Rejects Northern Pass Appeal for New Hearing

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Dave Solomon

There will be no reconsideration of the Northern Pass by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.

The committee charged with ruling on the controversial hydroelectric project has decided it will not reconsider its February decision to deny the application by Eversource, the state’s largest utility, for the 192-mile transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield.

The seven members of the committee assigned to the Northern Pass hearings reaffirmed their unanimous rejection of the $1.6 billion project on Feb. 1 and their written decision of March 30 after a day of deliberations on Thursday.

An appeal to the state Supreme Court is now the most likely option for the project.

“We will pursue all options for moving the project forward,” said Eversource spokesman Martin Murray. “We don’t take lightly an appeal to the Supreme Court. It’s a rare occurrence and one we take only when we have strong conviction and confidence that we will prevail.”

In its motion for reconsideration, Eversource pointed out that the SEC only deliberated on two of the four criteria for project approval before its February denial.

The majority of committee members on Thursday agreed that project approval would have required consideration of all four criteria, but denial could be made on the basis of only one.

The four criteria required for approval were: the project will serve the public interest; will not have an unreasonable adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water quality, the natural environment, and public health and safety; will not unduly interfere with the region’s orderly development; and the applicant has adequate financial, technical and managerial capability to assure construction and operation.

All seven members of the Site Evaluation Committee agreed that Northern Pass had not met its burden to show the proposed transmission line would not “unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region,” and denied the permit on that basis alone.

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