Letter: Alter Northern Pass to Benefit N.H.
To the Editor:
Connecticut’s plan to purchase 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020 — the topic of an article in the May 9 Valley News and an editorial on May 19 — is laudable. It’s a goal each New England state should embrace. But achieving the goal at the expense of Granite Staters has got to be a non-starter.
Here’s the deal: Connecticut can achieve its goal only if large-scale Canadian hydropower is delivered by Public Service of New Hampshire via the Northern Pass project which, as proposed, would use ugly power poles stretching from one end of our state to the other, potentially crippling our robust tourism trade.
Here’s the catch: If Northern Pass is allowed to be built, we get the ugly power poles scarring our landscape while Connecticut gets Canadian hydropower. Bottom line: Connecticut shouldn’t get what it wants at our state’s expense.
There’s one business plan that hasn’t been discussed that could be a win-win for both states. At the bargaining table, Gov. Hassan and PSNH should insist that the outcome include the following features that will directly benefit New Hampshire:
∎ PSNH will buy enough Hydro-Quebec energy to replace the power generated at its coal-burning plant in Bow (our state’s largest single-point polluter and a source of downwind respiratory illnesses) before transmitting the remaining electricity to Connecticut.
∎ PSNH will bury the Northern Pass transmission lines in the I-93 corridor.
This plan would allow PSNH to close its antiquated coal-burning plant. It would reduce long-term health care costs related to the pollution coming from that generating station in Bow. It would preserve and protect our healthy tourism-related economy by avoiding the construction of overland utility poles.
Let’s make PSNH live up to its name — Public Service of New Hampshire.