Commission Studying Burying Power Lines Urged To Continue

Nov 14, 2012

Speakers at The Flying Monkey in Plymouth spoke before the so-called 361 Commission which the state established to consider how to handle new utility projects and whether it is feasible to bury lines rather than use towers. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

About 200 people gathered Wednesday night in Plymouth for public hearing held by a state commission studying whether high-power electric lines such as those proposed by Northern Pass should be buried.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The commission’s goals include investigating whether it is feasible to bury utility lines on existing state rights-of-way, such as highways.

Sen. Jeanie Forrester, chairperson of the commission. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR
Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

And the message to the commission from many of those who spoke was that the commission needs to keep working to develop a well-reasoned policy for new utility projects.

Nancy Martland of Sugar Hill said the state must develop policies to protect its citizens and scenic beauty.

“I urge you to resist the pressures that have been applied and will continue to be applied by big corporate interests that seek to bully New Hampshire into submission.”

Jim Dannis of Dalton said the commission still needs to deal with what he sees as a crucial  difference between projects needed to keep the lights on and those intended “simply for profit.”

The commission’s report is due December 1st. 

It’s not clear how long it will continue to meet after that.

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen.

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR