Advocates For Affordable Energy In NH Need To Fight for It

by Steve MacDonald

New Energy - No EnergyAn above-the-fold story on the front of the Sunday Union Leader starts with “New gas pipeline gains support.” The project is an underground pipeline to carry natural gas from Manchester to Stratham. Governor Sununu likes it. The Business and Industry Association like it. Small and large business owners, as well as ratepayers, might like it. And we know the environment would too. America’s world-leading reductions in CO2, if you think that kind of thing even matters, is borne by the expansion of natural gas, an abundant reliable, cleaner fossil fuel.

But environmentalists don’t like it, and they are coming to shut this down.

There is emerging opposition from Pipe Line Awareness Network for the North East (PLAN-NE), which was born in the successful 2016 battle to stop energy company Kinder Morgan from constructing a 412-mile pipeline through portions of eastern New York, northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Of course, there is. Plan-NE is part of the keep it in the ground coalition. They are the Luddites of energy infrastructure. And with ties to deep-pocketed ‘advocacy’ groups like the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF), they have access to resources, including noisy protesters, letter writers, and legal help, to keep you in the dark. Literally.

These groups claim their mission is to prevent the overbuild of fossil fuel infrastructure and to champion clean, sustainable energy solutions. What they really mean is they intend to prevent any new or replacement Gas Pipeline infrastructure of any kind no matter what the cost to you or job creators.

They should change their name to the Expensive Inefficient Energy Infrastructure Organization.

And in this “state,” we have no power, EIEIO.

Their idea of energy solutions is keeping New Hampshire from taking advantage of all its existing assets (Low, crime, low poverty, quality of life, geography, high average wages) by working to make the state even more attractive to job creators. To do that we need to lower electricity costs. Natural GAS is the clean energy solution, but Plan-NE, backed by NEGEF, and other “local” or “regional” anti-energy activists don’t care.

“What is needed to fight these massive kinds of projects that are so big that everybody thinks are totally inevitable and can’t be stopped,” says Eiseman, president of the Pipe Line Awareness Network for the North East (PLAN-NE), “is pressure. You just don’t know what the pressure points are going to be, so you need to activate all of them.”

Every project it too big. I can’t find a single natural gas project that Plan-NE has ever supported. Not one. They exist to stop progress. Overbuild means “any-build.”

Plan-NE and their back up have every right to gather resources and use them to make themselves heard. But so do you.

As business owners, employees, and rate-payers in New Hampshire, we need to step up our game. Our electric rates suck in part because past legislatures (and current ones) have worked hard to prostate rate-payers over the environmental altar but also because of groups like Plan-NE. Residents, business owners, local activists and coalitions of same need to step into the ring and make the case before the boards, committees, and politicians that you want and need this.

Fight for your right to lower electric rates because it is your money. Plan-NE’s opposition is a defacto tax on your hard-earned dollars. They are taking money from you in higher electric rates.

Higher electric rates are a regressive tax on the poor and low-income families. (Why do they hate poor people?)

Manufacturers will not expand of locating in the Granite State if fixed costs for energy show no hope of ever getting better. (Why do they oppose good paying jobs and expanding job-training opportunities?)

And when they claim you are bought and paid for by Big Oil (or gas), let policymakers know that your support comes from residents, business owners, and job creators looking to invest energy savings back into their communities.

And feel free to ask them who their donors are? When they say concerned citizens ask them what sort of natural gas energy infrastructure these concerned citizens would support. What isn’t considered “an overbuild.” What do they suggest to help bring down high energy costs for entrepreneurs and low-income families because it isn’t wind, biomass, or solar.

Natural gas is the clean energy future. Green energy can’t even function effectively without natural gas plants for back-up. And New Hampshire is running out of options.

If you don’t stand up and start supporting new power generation in New Hampshire, you won’t get any. They won’t let it happen.

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