Northern Pass Opponents Plan For The Next Phase

Jun 8, 2015

Organizers of the opposition to Northern Pass – along with a state senator - on Sunday said it is time to prepare to persuade state regulators that - in its current form - the project is a mistake.

About 120 people filled the Easton Town Hall.

Orange has become one symbol of the opposition to the Northern Pass and shirts, scarves and hats were plentiful as Bob Baker, a lawyer from Columbia spoke.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

The gathering was called because Northern Pass will soon be asking the state’s Site Evaluation Committee to approve the controversial project.

Without that approval, the project can’t move ahead.

Anyone can provide comments to the SEC.

But Sen. Jeanie Forrester, a Republican from Meredith, said opponents should ask the SEC for intervener status.

“I would encourage everyone to be an intervener, to get involved in the process.”

Being an intervener means being part of the proceeding, including being allowed to ask Northern Pass to answer questions, said Jim Dannis, of Dalton, a panelist.

“You are at the table when it counts. So, you are a party. A commenter sits on the outside and lobs in ideas. If you intervene you are at the table, just like Northern Pass is at the table.”

Being approved as an intervener requires sending a letter to the SEC persuading it of a special interest – such as property or a business that would be affected.

Northern Pass officials have said they expect to file their application with the SEC shortly after the U.S. Department of Energy releases its draft Environmental Impact Statement. That is expected early this summer.

Groups participating included Responsible Energy Action LLC, the Appalachian Mountain Club, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Sugar Hill Tower Opponents.

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR