On July 31st, 2020, we stopped the Granite Bridge pipeline after years of grassroots organizing. Now, Liberty Utilities – the company behind Granite Bridge, is asking the state to sign off on a $7.5 million bill for ratepayers, to recoup some of the money they lost pursuing the project.
The Granite Bridge pipeline would have cost $340 million and locked us into years of burning fracked methane gas instead of transitioning to renewable energy. Liberty claims the costs were necessary to “conduct due diligence” on one of two options to meet the growing demand for natural gas.350 New Hampshire opposed the Granite Bridge project and argues that any fossil fuel infrastructure expansion in NH is dangerous for our state.
“Building new fracked gas infrastructure locks us into burning expensive and dangerous fossil fuels for decades to come,” says Lila Kohrman-Glaser, Co-Executive Director of 350NH. “Building new gas pipelines makes the shareholders of Liberty Utility and the fracking companies rich at the expense of our communities and our health and safety. We don’t need any new gas infrastructure to meet our energy needs in NH.”
Liberty Utilities should instead consider focusing their efforts on clean, renewable energy like solar and wind – and doing work to electrify the energy grid. The climate crisis is already impacting New Hampshire – rising sea levels, droughts, fires, and heat waves are threatening people and ecosystems across the state.
On learning that Liberty wants to make ratepayers cut the checks for failed pipeline projects, Karen Merriam of Epping said: “Allowing Liberty Utilities to charge ratepayers $7.5 million for the scrapped Granite Bridge Project would contravene long-standing NH law (the 1979 Anti-Construction Work In Progress law) and would set a terrible precedent.”
Why should ratepayers (whose energy costs are already high) have to front the bill for Liberty’s mistake? Liberty Utilities is showing us yet again that they do not care about their customers – they care about making a profit.
350 New Hampshire’s mission is to stop the climate crisis by enacting a just transition to 100% renewable energy and an end to fossil fuel use and expansion. You can learn more at 350nh.org