Northern Pass’s developer has a long track record of public statements attributing the deep New Hampshire opposition to the current proposal to the go-to developer bogeyman – “not in my backyard” obstructionism. Accusing critics of short-sighted “NIMBYism” is even part of Northern Pass’s expensive marketing campaign (which suffers from other deliberately false and misleading claims). Continuing this tradition, the CEO of the developer’s parent company recently derided opponents as “special interests.”
This is loaded, derogatory rhetoric, and exactly the wrong frame for having any constructive dialogue with the New Hampshire communities that face living with the project’s major new infrastructure, as I argued on NHPR last year. And on a personal level, after nearly a year and a half of advocacy on the Northern Pass project, I can say with certainty that the New Hampshire opponents of the current proposal don’t fit the caricature. Those with backyards that would be affected are indeed concerned about their homes, but also about the broader issues of whether the project will benefit their communities, New Hampshire, and the region. Like CLF, they aren’t seeing meaningful public benefits that would make the burdens of the project worth bearing.
Our colleagues at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests recently produced a pair of videos that help bring to life some of New Hampshire’s very real concerns about the project, many of which are key parts of CLF’s Northern Pass advocacy.
In this video, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Susan Arnold explains our history of protecting the White Mountain National Forest and the problems with Northern Pass’s proposal to build new towers through this nationally treasured landscape:
(If impacts in the White Mountain National Forest are of interest to you, I’d also recommend a recently launched resource with lots of information on the details of Northern Pass’s current proposal and the unique permitting process that applies: ProtectWMNF.org.)
In this video, you’ll meet a Deerfield, NH family that would be directly affected by the project:
(In line with prior non-responses to criticism and strong-arm tactics, Northern Pass’s developer posted an odd rebuttal to this video on its website, attacking as “inaccurate” certain general statements and images showing towers close to the family’s house. Leaving aside that accuracy in communications hasn’t been its own priority, the developer has released no detailed mile-by-mile design of the project to back up its post, nor does it deny that its representatives told the family that towers could be built very close to their home. And if you watch the video, it’s clear that the “rebuttal” is more about trying to discredit the Forest Society than providing a meaningful response to the video’s substance.)
From the families who live along the proposed route, to the small businesspeople in the state’s tourist economy who are concerned about the effect of the project on their livelihoods and communities, to the New Hampshire residents and groups questioning the wisdom of erecting massive new towers through treasured landscapes like the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire’s many critical voices are focused on real, legitimate concerns about the impacts of Northern Pass on our state and beyond. We will not be marginalized, bullied, or deterred as we raise these issues in public forums and in the federal and state permitting processes to come.
CLF was not involved in the production or content of the videos above. They are posted here with the permission of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
For more information about Northern Pass, sign-up for our monthly newsletter Northern Pass Wire, visit CLF’s Northern Pass Information Center (https://www.clf.org/northern-pass), and take a look at our prior Northern Pass posts on CLF Scoop.