Conservation Law Foundation To Mass. Gov. Baker: Disqualify Northern Pass’ Energy Bid
In a full-page ad in the Boston Globe on Sunday, the Conservation Law Foundation told Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker that the proposed Northern Pass project should be disqualified from the Mass. Clean Energy RFP aimed at reducing carbon emissions because it lied in its bid.
The open letter to Baker said the proposed 192-mile high-voltage transmission line that would cut through New Hampshire from Pittsburg to Deerfield is unacceptable for its environmental impacts alone.
“But even these concerns are overshadowed by the company’s dishonest and disdainful treatment of communities and regulatory agencies in the permitting and bidding process,” the Conservation Law Foundation ad said.
Melissa Birchard, a staff attorney for the CLF New Hampshire, said Northern Pass misrepresented a number of facts in its Massachusetts energy bids.
“They said the project had broad public support in New Hampshire, but it doesn’t. In fact, Counsel for the Public, a neutral party, described in briefing last week ‘overwhelming opposition to the Project expressed by intervenors, municipal governing bodies, legislators, and the public.’ 22 of 31 host municipalities have opposed the project at the SEC, and 1500 public comments run 11:1 opposed,” Birchard said.
Northern Pass also told the Massachusetts bid reviewers that they expected permits for the mixed wind-hydro proposal by the end of 2017, but they haven’t even applied for permits for that project, she said.
“The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee has made clear that it is only reviewing an all-hydro proposal in the current permitting proceeding. And in their DOE Presidential Permit application, Northern Pass specified that the project would transmit 98% hydroelectricity,” Birchard said.
Northern Pass submitted two proposals, one that is all hydropower and the other a mix of hydropower and wind in Massachusetts. But the Northern Pass proposal before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee deals only with Hydro-Quebec electricity.
According to the Boston Globe ad, Northern Pass falsely claimed that the project finances could not support burial of any meaningful segment when at least one competing bidder has promised full burial from the start.
“Balancing competing interests is never easy, but it demands candor and respect for the public and your administration. Disqualifying Northern Pass is essential to the integrity of this important decision,” the CLF ad said in addressing Gov. Baker.
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