While on Calef Highway, holding a “Stop Granite Bridge Pipeline!” sign, I was asked ‘Do you live in Epping?” “No,” I replied. “Then what are you doing here?”
Fair question. Standing in the cold rain, we all asked ourselves why we care. We care because environmental disaster does not respect lines on a map. We’re your neighbors who spent two years of our lives fighting the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. We valued help from experienced “outsiders”.
What selectman is going to turn down rosy promises of millions in tax revenue if no residents object? Is the pipeline and a two billion cubic foot liquefied natural gas tank good for Epping? Is there no one in Epping concerned with climate change? We don’t believe that.
This project will certainly be good for Liberty Utilities. It will nearly double its infrastructure asset base. Shareholders get a guaranteed return on equity, while ratepayers assume the big risk of stranded costs. The plan for the pipeline and natural gas tank life span is more than 40 years. Do we have that much time before we’re forced to abandon fossil fuels?
Liberty plans to hold an open house in Epping on May 23. There won’t be much “open” about it. No discussion with questions from the audience. We’ve learned something along the way, and we’ll be there. Hope to meet you there.
ECHO Action NH