We received the following comments on this issue from an anonymous Northern Pass opposition friend.
One problem is lack of money. The State Office of Energy and Planning has been cut back so much that they are downloading a lot of their work on the regional planning commissions who have also been cut back in funding from the State. I don’t think the majority of the current legislators put much stock in any kind of planning at the state level. The other problem I see is that the State lawmakers and regulators seem to treat the utility companies more like private businesses rather than like public utilities; Stockholders interests’ trump ratepayers’. And we all know about the role of the utility companies in funding the electoral process, ie PSNH, and their heavy lobbying efforts. All of this, of course, is legal.
It’s just laughable to read about the cry-baby utilities complaining about lack of funding for infra-structure improvement, local opposition to new lines and the repeated costs of repairing downed lines. As they replace or augment aging infra-structure they should BURY IT. This eliminates the aesthetic concerns, the needed replacement of aging towers and poles and the damage to exposed structures from storms; not to mention the PREVENTION OF OUTAGES . If there was a concerted effort to adopt this strategy NOW I’ll bet we could have everything converted to buried systems within 20 years. Again, no planning strategy.