Letters to NH Congressional Delegation

NHPLAN Logo 2015-11-07
March 25, 2016

Dear Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Representatives Kuster and Guinta:

The undersigned represent three town conservation commissions and various growing committees, groups and other organizations, mostly from the 18 New Hampshire municipalities, comprising roughly 160,000 citizens, on the projected approximately 71-mile path of the Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (“KM/TGP”) Northeast Energy Direct (“NED”) high pressure gas pipeline project being considered for approval under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Docket No. CP16-21.1
Thirteen of these towns have formed the New Hampshire Municipal Pipeline Coalition (“Coalition”) to oppose the project. Others are fighting it on their own, as shown by the Motion to Intervene and Protest that the Town of Hudson (currently a non-Coalition member) has filed in FERC Docket No. CP16-21, a copy of which is attached to this letter as Exhibit “A.” We unite in reminding you who we are and what is at stake, in thanking you for your contributions to date—and in imploring you to take an even more active role in the matter, before it is too late.

link25 Link to complete March 25, 2016 letter

April 21, 2016

Dear Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Representatives Kuster and Guinta:

Your reference is the March 25, 2016 letter from NHPLAN and 22 other New Hampshire organizations to the four of you concerning FERC Docket No. CP16-21 and the Northeast Energy Direct (“NED”) pipeline project.

Citizens would love to celebrate yesterday’s Kinder Morgan press release indicating that the NED project is being “suspended,” as is undoubtedly true of all of the 22 other signatories. However, upon review of the online filings for FERC Docket No. CP16-21, there is no indication that the proceedings have been terminated, or are in the process of termination, and it is disturbing that Kinder Morgan’s press release on the matter only refers to the “suspension” as pertaining to “the [NED] as it is currently configured.” Unless and until such time as the proceedings are terminated, the matter is still pending and subject to the requests made in the March 25, 2016 correspondence. Moreover, as there are some 16 or more gas pipeline projects in the works for the Northeast other than the NED project, one or more of which may result in tentacles reaching into New Hampshire, and all of which will bear bitter fruit for the region that we are a part of, the requests are very pertinent to all FERC proceedings going forward. The FERC process must be reformed to allow for decision-making on a level playing field, including institution of the changes discussed in the letter:

(1) all major gas pipeline infrastructure (including compressor stations) projects, such as and including the NED pipeline project, should be scheduled for formal evidentiary hearings to ensure transparency and fairness;

(2) a comprehensive health impact assessment should be required for all gas pipeline infrastructure (including compressor stations) projects to ensure the health and well-being of citizens; and

(3) a Citizens Advocate position should be created for FERC proceedings to provide an advocate on behalf of citizens, to ensure a better system of checks and balances.

link25Link to complete April 21, 2016 letter

April 25, 2016

Dear Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Representatives Kuster and Guinta:

This serves as a follow-up to the April 21, 2016 letter from NHPLAN to the four of you.

Please understand that we do acknowledge and thank you for the effort that each of you have put forth in dealing with FERC to date.

However, citizens have not just left the burden at your feet, but have unflinchingly carried the vast and growing bulk of the load by themselves. For more than a year, concerned communities and individuals in New Hampshire (and throughout the Northeast: some for more than two years) have been pouring unceasing effort into opposing the NED project and advocating better energy policies and solutions. Finally, there is suggestion that the NED project “may” be abandoned, albeit it with clear wiggle-room: does “as it is currently configured” mean that we will be looking at a slightly smaller pipeline or tweaked pipeline path in a month, two months, or a year? Moreover, again, there are at least 16 other pipeline projects in the works for the Northeast. See http://www.northeastgas.org/pipeline_expansion.php. It would be a great disservice to our citizens, as well as to your efforts to date, if we must shortly start the fight from scratch under the same one-sided, pipeline rubber-stamping FERC system. I know that fixing FERC is a tough fight, but it is a fight for the arena of federal representatives. It is tough standing in the cold and rain with signs for hours, living every moment with the fear that your children’s safety will be placed at risk and the use, enjoyment and value of your home (and largest asset) taken away from you for private profit, sacrificing time with your friends and family to meetings, hearings and more hearings, rallies, setbacks and increasing obstacles—all fights our citizens have tirelessly taken on.1 The hope that we now have for the end of NED is great, but much remains to be done. They are old adages because they always hold true: we must be ever vigilant, and never rest on our laurels.

link25 Link to complete April 25, 2016 NHPLAN letter with S2012, Section 3103