Add Your Voice in Support of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s Denial of Northern Pass
We call on the NH Supreme Court to reject Eversource’s appeal and uphold the SEC’s decision. In saying No to Northern Pass, the SEC acted completely within its purview under the law, with full regard for the facts and in the best interests of the people of New Hampshire.
The People’s Brief
Since Eversource introduced Northern Pass in 2010, residents and elected officials across New Hampshire have risen in fierce opposition to the plan to construct a 192-mile transmission line through the heart of New Hampshire.
Project opponents took their concerns to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, which carefully reviewed the project during 70 days of adjudicative hearings. On February 1, 2018, the SEC voted unanimously to deny a permit for Northern Pass, concluding Eversource had “failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that the Project will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region” — specifically, its negative effects on “land use, employment, and the economy.”
Eversource subsequently appealed the SEC’s ruling to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on May 15, 2019.
In deciding against Northern Pass, SEC members validated the following significant concerns about the project:
Environmental: Northern Pass would have irreversible negative impact on New Hampshire’s natural treasures, including the scenic vistas, trails, and forests that draw millions of visitors each year. The high wires and clear cutting would scar the heart of the state, running through federal, state, and private forest land and wildlife areas. In addition, the environmental damage caused by hydroelectric power in Quebec watersheds has also caused significant damage to forests and First Nation tribal lands.
Economic: While Northern Pass would create some short-term construction jobs, the economic impact would not be long-lasting and would be outweighed by the loss of jobs caused by the decline in tourism. Other economic impacts would include home and property value depreciation, destruction of potential agricultural lands, and increased dependence on foreign energy.
Local Disruption: Eversource did not fully weigh the impact of construction on local communities, some of whom would face severe disruptions on local roads and business centers. Of the 31 cities and towns along the proposed route, all but one oppose Northern Pass.
No Ratepayer Benefit: Northern Pass would act as a giant extension cord, intended to bring power to Massachusetts and southern New England rather than to New Hampshire. As a result, Granite State ratepayers would see little or no additional benefit while incurring other significant negative impacts noted here.