Held hostage to ‘bridge fuel’

To the Editor:

Energy independence used to mean not being reliant on foreign oil. Today it has a new meaning: independence from large corporations trying to control our fate for their own personal gain.

For the past year, southern New Hampshire has been plagued with the threat of a natural gas pipeline from Kinder Morgan and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. This pipeline would invade our conservation lands, personal property and New Hampshire way of life.

Although New Hampshire is a net exporter of energy, much of the gas would go back to Massachusetts, as Liberty Utilities, partially owned by Kinder Morgan, finds new customers. This pipeline will traverse 17 towns, most of which cannot use the natural gas.

At this time, there are no plans to export. However, the Department of Energy recently approved the export of U.S. natural gas to Canada; therefore, exporting out of country is not unlikely.

The people of southern New Hampshire are feeling as if they are held hostage to acquiesce to this supposed “bridge fuel,” a fuel that will take our eyes off renewables for years to come.

We have heard that businesses are asking for the gas, yet some businesses such as Yankee Publishing in Dublin are investing in solar energy. Other companies are looking to energy-efficiency experts to help reduce costs.

There is no doubt that we need energy. We as New Hampshire residents need to determine what type of energy we will support. Do we want to invest in renewables? Is a well-placed wind turbine less acceptable than a pipeline that will intrude upon 17 towns in southern New Hampshire? Is there an acceptable solution to the Northern Pass, which will carry renewable hydroelectric power?

Here is a link to an article that was shared with me about an alternative technology manufactured by the ABB Group that would allow for underground electricity transmission system at low cost and minimal intrusion: new.abb.com/
systems/hvdc.

As we can attest, when we say no to everything, we open the door for companies with louder voices and deeper pockets to decide the future of our energy strategy.

For more information on pipeline concerns, visit
nhpipelineawareness.org.

Melanie Levesque
Former Democratic assistant to the majority leader
Brookline