On May 19th, 2016, at an SEC hearing held at the Mountain View Grand Hotel, in Whitefield, NH, I spoke out against the Northern Pass Project (read more about it here). Here's the full contents of my comments, verbatim, with a few (later) clarifications in parentheses.
Good evening. As a very new resident of Whitefield, and returning former resident of NH, I appreciate the chance to comment in public.
I'm responding to the rejection (by Northern Pass Project) of (certain) mitigation measures and am here to advocate that every inch of this project be buried. I believe anything less than this represents a very bad deal for the economy of our region. Complete burial, if more expensive as claimed, would actually generate more local revenue, because it would presumably be more labor intensive and take longer. As far as long-term benefits, the increase in high-value tourism and property development are indisputable.
I recently purchased a home in Whitefield and will soon be installing enough solar power generation capacity to meet or exceed our entire household's use. With available federal and state incentives, and pay for itself within a decade. And because of low-interest loans available for renewable energy projects, it will cost me nothing up front, and a very modest monthly payment. The growth of household renewable power generation is exploding across our country, and it's accelerating as costs continue to go down. In the future, there will be LESS not more need to import or transmit power across state lines, let alone from outside the country.
I'm not at all opposed to having increased power transmission capacity. A robust infrastructure is beneficial and would hopefully generate much-needed jobs in the short term. However, complete burial is an achievable win-win solution. We should not (and do not need to) accept any further damage to our most valuable asset, which is the natural beauty of our area. Ideally, we would not only demand burial of the entire project, but demand removal of existing towers at the same time. If we don't demand it now, it will never happen.
We should use whatever authority we have to ensure that we can attract sustainable economic growth for not only this but all future generations.