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Granite Bridge

Granite Bridge Pipeline Dropped After Pressure from Grassroots Organizers

For 2.5 years, 350 New Hampshire has been organizing to stop Liberty Utilities’ proposed Granite Bridge Pipeline and tank. Now, the project has been stopped and Liberty has moved to consider other options. 

In the past few weeks, several pipelines across the country have been denied or ordered to shut down, from the Dakota Access pipeline to the proposed Williams pipeline in New York. Friday, July 31st, 2020, 350 New Hampshire staff and volunteers are excited to hear that the Granite Bridge fracked gas pipeline and tank will not be built through our Southern New Hampshire community. 

“I am thankful that there won’t be fracked methane gas infrastructure in my backyard of Raymond,” says Jennifer Dube, Pipeline Resistance Organizer with 350NH, “It is time for New Hampshire to invest in clean, local energy that will keep jobs and dollars in New Hampshire and grow our state’s economy. Every single thing the grassroots organizers and volunteers in our communities did made a difference, and we would not be celebrating this victory if it weren’t for them.”

In 2017 when the project was proposed, 350NH took on a campaign to stop the Granite Bridge pipeline, despite community members and politicians telling us that the campaign would be a waste of time-that it was a done deal. Now, nearly three years later, our grassroots community organizing has forced Liberty Utilities to abandon the project. New fracked gas infrastructure is dangerous and unnecessary and won’t go unchallenged in our New Hampshire community.

No one knows this better than Joe Perry, a community member of Epping and a part of the group “Citizens for Local Control” who has worked alongside 350NH to oppose the LNG storage tank that was proposed to be built in Epping. 

“I want to thank everyone who helped us fight against this project.  For over three years our group Citizens for Local Control spent their own personal time and money to save our community and beat a billion-dollar corporation. I can’t express how happy I am and want to personally thank everyone in my group here in Epping, as well as 350NH and ECHO Action.  This is a great day for our town and New Hampshire”, Joe Perry – Citizens for Local Control.

The organizers running this campaign have sent a clear message to the fossil fuel industry: they cannot propose new fossil fuel infrastructure in New Hampshire on our watch. With the Granite Bridge pipeline dead, it is time to stop burning coal in New Hampshire and invest in renewable energy in order to save the health of our communities and our planet. 

“Fossil fuels are never the only option,” says Kai Parlett, from the 350NH Youth Team, “We won this fight, but there is so much more we need to do locally, nationally, and even globally to combat the climate crisis. We’re just getting started.”

From day one, the Granite Bridge was about making money for Liberty Utility, not about meeting the needs of Granite Staters. Liberty Utility wasted 9 million dollars on the failed project and now they are threatening to pass that cost on to ratepayers. 350NH is planning to keep up the pressure to ensure that New Hampshire citizens are not stuck paying for Liberty’s wasteful corporate spending.

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Granite Bridge

Granite Bridge Pipeline is Dangerous and Bad for Environment

Liberty Utilities is looking to run a natural gas pipeline that would run under the Lamprey River two times through my hometown of Raymond.  The Granite Bridge Pipeline would run from Manchester, through Raymond, out toward the seacoast, putting neighborhoods and communities along the route in danger.  Just last week Liberty Utilities held an LNG (liquid natural gas) “science fair” in Epping at which they purported natural gas to be safe.  Dozens of Epping residents, along with others from towns along the pipeline route, showed up to this event to oppose the LNG storage tank that would be sited right off of Exit 6, saying it is not safe and it’s bad for the environment.

The following morning it was all over the news that there was a natural gas pipeline explosion overnight in Lincoln County Kentucky with flames so high they could be seen from space.  The blast killed one person trying to escape, melted part of a railroad track, completely destroyed five homes and damaged others. Just imagine that happening in Raymond or Epping.  How would our communities ever be able to recover?  Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said, “These things happen.  It’s a dangerous industry.  It’s a dangerous business.”

It’s long past time for us to end our dependence on fossil fuels. We can transition to safe, clean and renewable sources of energy now by preventing Liberty Utilities from expanding their natural gas infrastructure in New Hampshire. Governor Jay Inslee, candidate for president, recently announced his opposition to the GBP project on WMUR saying, “In New Hampshire, we have an opportunity to begin that transition now, by preventing Liberty Utilities from cementing its reach across New Hampshire through the Granite Bridge Pipeline… It’s time to stand with local New Hampshire leaders fighting the pipeline’s construction.”

We need more leaders and elected officials to join us in opposing this unnecessary fossil fuel project that will only increase utility profits, while harming our citizens, our environment, and our climate. New Hampshire can and must do better for our economy, our environment, and the communities we care for. It’s time to invest in clean local energy to keep our dollars and our jobs in New Hampshire.

~ Jennifer Dube

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Granite Bridge

5 Reasons Why Raymond Doesn’t Need the Granite Bridge Pipeline

How many of us remember as kids jumping into a clear, cold river to cool off on a hot summer day? Remember how invigorating and refreshing that felt? Now how many of us remember questioning if the water was too polluted to swim in? 

The Granite Bridge Pipeline (GBP) is a 27-mile pipeline proposed by Liberty Utilities that would transport fracked gas from Manchester to the seacoast. This fracked gas pipeline would pass through the town of Raymond, underneath the Lamprey River twice.

Raymond doesn’t need a pipeline project running through it, and here are the reasons why:

  1. This proposed pipeline project threatens not only the Lamprey River, but the Great Bay Estuary and its valuable wildlife habitats and ecosystems.  Running the pipeline under the Lamprey River will cause the erosion of dirt, minerals, and other pollutants into the river.  The land disturbance will harm the local ecosystems by destroying wildlife habitats and altering migration patterns.
  2. Pipelines are a disaster waiting to happen.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, there were 311 significant safety incidents at natural gas distribution pipelines between 2008 and 2012, resulting in 230 injuries and 41 deaths.  There were also 370 significant safety incidents at natural gas transmission pipelines during this same time period, resulting in 85 injuries and 10 fatalities. Raymond does not have the resources to respond to a hazardous materials incident.  Gas is highly flammable, and any incident would likely necessitate a large-scale evacuation and involve multiple agencies and jurisdictions.  Raymond’s economy would suffer and residents would be left to absorb the costs.
  3. Fossil-fuels are 20th century.  Renewable energy is 21st century. There are clean energy options that we can and should be moving to not only because they are better for our environment, because they are better for our economy.  Energy analytics company Drillinginfo published a report recently saying that renewables are getting cheaper and cheaper, displacing gas demand for electric power. We should be demanding clean and renewable sources of energy instead of harming our environment by clinging to fossil fuels, which are quickly becoming obsolete.
  4. The main component of natural gas is methane, a 34 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide due to the fact that it is far more effective absorbing heat.  When mixed with other chemicals, methane can become explosive and deadly when ignited.  Methane is also a “simple asphyxiant” because it displaces oxygen. People need a minimum 18 percent oxygen content to breathe.  Oxygen levels below 16 percent are dangerous, and levels below 10 percent are deadly.
  5. Raymond will not benefit from the pipeline project, it’s all risk and no reward.  Few, if any, permanent jobs would be created.  The gas in the pipeline would not service Raymond.  Liberty Utilities has no customers in Raymond. There is no way for Raymond residents to tie into the pipeline without huge infrastructure investments from the government and home owners of Raymond.  So where is this gas going? Who is it meant for if renewable energy is displacing gas demand for electric power? The following is from the US Energy Information Administration:
    1. Exports of liquid natural gas (LNG) increased substantially in 2016, 2017, and 2018, coinciding with large increases in export capacity since 2015.
    2. In 2018, total annual U.S. natural gas exports were the highest on record, and the United States was a net exporter of natural gas for the second year in a row.
    3. 70% of the total U.S. natural gas exports in 2018 were by pipeline, 67% of which went to Mexico. The U.S. exported natural gas to 32 other countries as well, including China, Japan, and South Korea.  

The answer is clear. We can let Liberty Utilities continue to put the health and safety of our communities at risk by  clinging to fossil fuels for their own gain, or we can insist upon a clean future that prioritizes our communities needs over the bottomline of huge corporations. Clean energy is moving forward – are we?

-Jennifer Dube

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Granite Bridge

The Granite Bridge Pipeline is not what’s best for New Hampshire

With the Granite Bridge project currently trying to build a 27 mile fracked gas pipeline through southern New Hampshire, now is the time to consider what we want the future of our region’s energy sources to look like.

As a teenager living in this region and facing a future threatened by climate change, I am very concerned that this project aims to increase our reliance on fossil fuels rather than moving towards cleaner, renewable energy sources. To me, this project presents another sign that some of the adults in power are not working hard enough to be able to hand a livable world down to the next generation. It is frustrating to see us moving backwards or standing still instead of making progress towards becoming a more sustainable society.

In addition to its other negative environmental and economic impacts (more information can be found at https://350nh.org/resistgranitebridge/, http://www.plan-ne.org, or https://www.echoaction.org/granite-bridge),  this pipeline is a step in the wrong direction when it comes to fighting climate change. Towns across the affected region have been voicing their opposition to the project. If there is a vote in your town concerning this project, voting against the pipeline may be a step towards using less fossil fuels and preserving our irreplaceable natural resources.

-Zoe Pavlik