In an exclusive interview with Edith Tucker in this week’s Salmon Press papers (Coos County Democrat, Littleton Courier, 4/25/), text following, PSNH rolls out its spring 2012 line about Northern Pass: it would offer the advantage of fuel diversity (hydro power). Natural gas pricing, PSNH warns, is “extremely volatile,” hence untrustworthy. Therefore, we need Northern Pass, argues Gary Long. One source (also below) is quoted to support Long’s claim about natural gas, with several graphs supplied by PSNH (not included below, nor the Gary Long photo).
PSNH made this same kind of argument about “risk” to ward off divestiture of its coal burning and other generation plants this year. (See http://www.savepsnhplants.org/blog/2012/1/31/hb-1238-an-unnecessary-risk-for-new-hampshire-businesses-and.html)
The alleged “need” for fuel diversity in New England is the latest in a long series of purported benefits of Northern Pass that have withered under rigorous analyses, including but not limited to:
*Northern Pass would provide lower electricity prices.
How much lower? Analysis showed that the average residential customer would save a maximum of 97 cents per month, and it emerged that Nothern Pass would provide “competitive” not necessarily lower prices. (source)
Current natural gas prices undercut even those very limited benefits. (source)
*Northern Pass would generate significant tax revenue for towns through which the towers would run.
No. Even PSNH admitted early on that tax revenues wouldn’t amount to much, as Deerfield found out this past year. And the tax figures were only for the first year, before depreciation set in. (source.)
*Northern Pass would provide 1200 jobs.
No. NEPGA found that claim grossly exaggerated. (source (PDF))
*Northern Pass would provide “clean, green” and “low carbon” energy.
No. CLF has deconstructed and demolished these environmental claims. (source)
*Northern Pass would provide broadband for the North Country.
Nope. Installing telecommunications exceeds PSNH’s authority on easements. (source. (PDF))
*Even, Northern Pass would provide habitat for cottontail rabbits by clear cutting ROWs. source (PDF)
*And, now, “the huge growth in the use of natural gas with its highly volatile pricing has added another reason to support Northern Pass: fuel diversity” (Gary Long, 4/25, see following article).
Stay tuned. Let’s see how PSNH’s new spring line about Northern Pass holds up under robust analysis.