Sometimes even the most complicated sounding issues can be simplified. This is true in the case of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s recent qualified “opposition” to the NED pipeline project. The legitimacy of her opposition can be summed up simply by the old saying “Actions speak louder than words.”
The people of New Hampshire deserve more than election-year proclamations. This pipeline jeopardizes our children’s health, places our environment at risk, and takes people’s property for the sake of private profit without any justified need or benefit. The governor has asked Kinder Morgan to address our concerns, but the only way Kinder Morgan can address our concerns is to NOT build the NED pipeline.
Therefore, Governor Hassan needs to take action to stop the pipeline. Here are a few suggestions: 1.) become an intervener; 2.) call on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to clearly define the threshold of need for this pipeline on a regional basis; 3.) make her opposition to this project known to the Public Utilities Commission and the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee by supporting the state consumer advocate’s position that this pipeline is not in the best interests of New Hampshire ratepayers;
4.) start now to work with those on the Executive Council and in the legislature who oppose the pipeline; 5.) work with the N.H. Attorney General to prepare a review of FERC’s permitting process and be prepared to file a lawsuit in federal court for any failure by FERC to perform its due diligence, to expose any conflict of interest in FERC’s ruling, or to expose any failure by FERC to adhere to its own policy/procedure; 6.) contact our federal representatives and senators asking that they direct the Government Accountability Office to investigate FERC on the preceding issues; and finally, 7.) meet with the leaders of the N.H. Municipal Pipeline Coalition, Plan N.H., and PLAN New England to implement a coordinated strategy to stop the pipeline.
The governor has been quiet too long. So be it. We can’t go back in time. However, now is the time for action, not just words of qualified opposition — but action. If Gov. Hassan can’t stand with and for the people of N.H. while she is governor, how can we ever expect her to represent our best interests in Washington.
I look forward to Gov. Hassan taking action to stop the NED pipeline and becoming a leader for the people of New Hampshire.