The saga of Eversources’s Northern Pass transmission project took another dramatic turn this week when the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee – a major and necessary hurdle for the project – voted unanimously to reject the proposal.
Barely a week before this decision by New Hampshire regulators, the contentious project had been selected as the sole winner in a bidding process to deliver up to 2,000 megawatts of clean energy to Massachusetts. That controversial selection ignored more than 40 other viable projects on the table, not to mention eight years’ worth of loud and overwhelming opposition to Northern Pass by Granite Staters and community and environmental advocates like CLF.
In a move now typical of Eversource, the utility giant has vowed to ignore the will of the New Hampshire people and appeal the Committee’s decision. We urge Governor Baker’s administration to revise its selection and not allow the year-plus long delay that will accompany Eversource’s appeal to hold up its bidding process, especially when so many home-grown projects are waiting in the wings.
We need clean energy in Massachusetts now, we have projects at the ready, and there’s no reason to wait to take action.
New Hampshire Regulators Reject Northern Pass’s Bully Tactics
Since May of 2017, Northern Pass has been under consideration by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, a multi-agency body that reviews applications to locate major energy facilities in the state. During the process, the Committee heard from more than 150 intervenors who would be impacted by the project, in addition to dozens of expert witnesses both for and against the proposal.
Yesterday, after nine months of careful analysis and input, the Committee voted 7–0 to deny Northern Pass the necessary approvals, noting the overwhelming public opposition to the project and the undeniable impact it would have on the state’s precious landscapes. This unanimous decision shows that the people of New Hampshire will no longer tolerate Eversource’s attempts to bulldoze and bully its way to approval.
We applaud the Committee for its painstaking work to ensure a fair consideration of the project and for coming to the right decision for the people and communities of New Hampshire – and Massachusetts.
Time for Massachusetts to Hit Reset on Clean Energy
The Baker administration could press pause on its clean energy commitments and wait while Northern Pass attempts to successfully overcome the many hurdles involved in appealing the Site Evaluation Committee’s decision. But that is a complex process that could take more than a year – and its outcome is hardly guaranteed in Northern Pass’s favor.
Our climate – and by extension, our communities – can’t afford such a delay. If the Baker administration is truly as committed to clean energy as it claims, then it will take this opportunity to hit reset. It should immediately revisit the long list of viable – and better – projects submitted as part of its bidding process and choose the best among them to deliver clean energy to the state.
Our families and businesses deserve no less.
You can help stop this harmful project before it’s built. Tell Massachusetts to say no to Northern Pass.
Before you go… CLF is working every day to create real, systemic change for New England’s environment. And we can’t solve these big problems without people like you. Will you be a part of this movement by considering a contribution today? If everyone reading our blog gave just $10, we’d have enough money to fund our legal teams for the next year.