Hollis, NH residents polled on natural gas pipeline

HOLLIS – Now that the first public hearing has been held regarding the proposed Northeast Expansion Project, which would bring a natural gas pipeline through Hollis, the Journal asked residents what they thought of the project. Almost everyone voiced opposition to having a pipeline buried in their backyards and potentially through conservation land.

“Obviously, I am very against it going through Beaver Brook or any conservation land,” said Lois Bixby, a paraprofessional at Hollis Brookline High School. “They are talking about a corridor of up to 75 feet, which is not appropriate for a survey. There are always some dangers attached, but I am more concerned about conservation land.”

Another woman called the project a bad idea and cited lack of specific details.

“We don’t know the end-line of where it is going. If it got mapped out, who would benefit from this? Does it bring natural gas into Hollis? Probably not. I think it ends in Merrimack, so why do they need to come through (Hollis). This hasn’t been discussed enough.”

One man, who asked not to be identified, spoke strongly in favor of the natural gas pipeline.

“I’m all for it,” he said. “I think we need other alternatives, especially low cost (energy). I don’t think it will have the kind of impact on the community or Beaver Brook like people think it will. It’s the old school mentality. We need it, especially with the oil and propane costs in town. Costs in Nashua are half of ours because they have natural gas.”

Tom Dougherty

“I think the town in general is not in favor of it. Folks would be more receptive if they felt they would have access to the gas. I’m surprised they would run it through to a terminus and not give it to us for use. We haven’t seen much of a (public relations) effort to win over the community.”

Tom Harris

“I think that it is a fabulously bad idea. This is not a good thing for property values or conservation.”

Randy Farwell
(owns property in Hollis)

“I’ve heard about it and can understand property owners not wanting it here. There are perceived dangers and there are benefits in the form of cheap energy. I’m not for it but I’m not adamantly opposed to it.”

Shirley Coleman

We don’t want it. I’ve been watching (what has happened) across the country, and anything to do with gas or oil is destructive to the environment. There are leaks, you can’t plant anything around it because of roots. We have a fuel issue, but this isn’t the answer. I am also very concerned that they have tried to go around the legal process rather than going to the town first. I personally have conservation land, not near Beaver Brook, but it is terrifying that they can swoop in and take it by eminent domain.”

Eric LeBlanc

“I don’t think we need it. If they have to have easements through properties, who is supposed to benefit?”

Heidi LeBlanc

“We don’t need that destruction. It would be an eyesore and would give us no benefit. We are such a rural community and they shouldn’t tear it up like this.”