Details: Liberty Utilities proposes to build a 27 mile, 16 inch diameter, high
pressure fracked methane (“Natural”) gas pipeline along Route 101 from Stratham through to Manchester passing through Exeter, Brentwood, Epping, Raymond, Candia and Auburn, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Epping. This LNG facility includes a giant 170ft high, 200 ft wide tank sized to store 2 billion cubic feet of LNG (larger than the “Rainbow Tank” in Boston) as well as an industrial plant to convert methane to liquid for storage and back to gas for distribution.
LNG Storage tank and Liquefaction Facility
Context: Fracked gas is a major contributor to climate change worldwide. As the fracking industry overtakes coal and oil, they are seeking to build new infrastructure across the United States. The Granite Bridge is a poor economic investment, a threat to our health and wellbeing, and will further propel us towards climate crisis. Building the Granite Bridge stands directly in the way of reaching our 100 percent renewable energy goal. We, the people of New Hampshire, are the only ones who can protect our climate from fossil fuel industry’s private interests.
The Process: Towns and abbutters are not given a formal say in the decision making process. The decision about Granite Bridge will be made by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), who are appointed by the Governor. These agencies are not evil, but they are antiquated and designed to favor corporate fossil fuel interests over human health and safety.
Liberty Utility submitted the project to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in December 2017 and a decision is expected in early 2019. Then the project will be in review with the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) for up to a year. PUC will investigate if 1) the project is actually needed to meet demand and 2) If this is the best cost option to meet the demand. For more on the PUC’s process and timeline click here. The SEC will examine 1) If Liberty Utility has the financial, technical, and managerial capability to construct and operate the facilities and 2) If the project will have an adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water quality, the natural environment and public health and safety.
Building Public Opposition: Right now, we have to build public opposition to show the PUC and SEC that New Hampshire citizens will not allow this pipeline to be constructed. This means we must call on friends, family, and neighbors to organize and attend educational events. These events are a starting point for anyone interested in protecting their community and planet. Call your elected representative and ask them whether they support the project, write a letter to the editor, sign up for the 350NH elist or like us on Facebook and Twitter @350NH to stay up to date on the campaign.
Concerns: Why No Granite Bridge?
Building the granite bridge is bad for your wallet, your health, and the climate. Here are 5 easy reasons why: (keep reading for more info on why we can’t afford the Granite Bridge)
Rate payers pay the $340 million dollar cost NOT Liberty. This includes a 9% or 10% return for the company.
No ratepayer benefit – Liberty cannot guarantee that prices of fracked gas will stay low.
Safety and health risks with the LNG storage tank/pipeline would sink property values.
Environmental concerns – Lamprey River crossings, and construction near Lake Massabesic, Manchester’s water supply.
The project would lock NH into fossil fuel dependency for decades to come. Burning methane gas causes climate change.
Cost: This project costs $340 Million Dollars and Ratepayers NOT Liberty Utility pay the price. This includes a 9% to 10% return for the company’s investors and will make our utility bills higher. This project will pad the pockets of the fossil fuel elite at the expense of our families. NH spends almost 10% of the GDP on buying dirty energy from out of state. It is time to invest in clean local energy to keep our dollars and our jobs in NH.
Stranded Assets: Building new fossil fuel infrastructure when we know we need to be transitioning to 100% renewable energy leaves ratepayers with a significant risk for stranded assets. When our legislature at the local or national level succeed in passing carbon pricing legislation and when other states go the route of NY and ban fracking, the price of methane gas will increase making this project obsolete. Check out this article in the Concord Monitor for an example of stranded assets at the Coal Fired Power Plant in Bow.
False Tax Promises: Liberty Utility is promising towns along the route millions of dollars in tax money but we must be wary of the effects that the Granite Bridge will have on property taxes and on the depreciating value of the project over its proposed 40 year life span. In Bow, NH Eversource promised the town millions in tax money. When Eversource sold the facility in 2017 they found out that it was worth much less than they thought and they sued the town of Bow asking for money back based on the lowered value of the plant. The Supreme Court of NH sided with Eversource and the town just paid Eversource 5.7 million dollars, more than half of their operating budget for the year.
Environmental Health and Safety:
Tanks can leak and explode: Liberty Utility proposes to build a 170 ft tank to store 2 billion cubic ft of liquified methane gas in Epping, across the street from a daycare center and in direct proximity to homes commuter ways and local businesses. For those familiar with the “Rainbow Tank” in Boston, this one would be even bigger. The project is 500X larger than anything Liberty Utility currently manages and the company has already been fined tens of thousands of dollars for violating health and safety regulations.
Protect our water and air: Over 1000 pounds of a toxic odorant containing 700 lbs of Sulfur will be added to the methane gas. Studies show a connection between Asthma attacks and methane gas infrastructure and the Granite Bridge would pass under the Lamprey River and several other important local waterways providing a significant threat to our local ecosystems and environmental health.
Protect the climate: Building new pipelines means game over for the planet because it drives demand to use fossil fuels and stands directly in the way of building renewables. “Natural Gas” is methane gas. Methane gas contributes to the Greenhouse gas effect (climate change) at over 80 times the rate of Carbon Dioxide1. Building the Granite Bridge will more than double the number of people burning methane gas in their homes. Pipeline also leak about 2.2% and intentional off gassing release methane directly into the air. The arctic circle is on fire, temperatures in Aman hit 120 degrees this month and the sea level is rising. We need to stop burning fossil fuels now.
Your Rights:We believe that local communities have a right to be part of decisions about their energy future. In the case of the Granite Bridge Pipeline, because the route is technically through state owned land, individuals and municipalities are being left out of the decision making process. Our elected officials have been bought out by the fossil fuel industry and our regulatory agencies were not designed to take climate change and environmental justice into account. We are the ones who will pay the price and it is up to us to fight for a clean energy future.
Isn’t natural gas a clean alternative to oil and coal?
“Natural Gas” is methane and the majority is sourced from the fracking fields of the appalachian basin. Methane gas is not “Clean” and it is not a “Bridge Fuel”. Methane gas contributes to the Greenhouse gas effect (climate change) at over 80 times the rate of Carbon Dioxide. We have the affordable renewable technology that we need.
Will this pipeline lower my energy bill?
Liberty claims that building the Granite Bridge is cheaper than updating the Concord Lateral Pipeline. First of all, there is significant speculation as to whether or not the Concord Lateral Pipeline needs to be updated at all, experts say that it is currently running well under capacity. If you are a Liberty Utility ratepayer, your utility bill will increase as you will be required to pay for the $340 million dollar project.
Are people going to be cold in the winter if we don’t build the Granite Bridge?
No, pipelines are not currently running at capacity. We have better, cheaper, cleaner options. The Gas in Granite Bridge is not being guaranteed to communities along the route of the pipeline because the cost to run individual gas lines to houses is prohibitive and because these communities have other Utility Providers.
New Hampshire has a history of stopping undesirable and unjust energy projects through grassroots activism. We are building our movement to stop the GBP and we need you to be a part of it!
Sign up below to receive updates about our work and events and email jennifer@350NH.org for more information on how to get involved.
Ways to get involved:
Attend a rally or visibility event
Sign up to host an educational event to educate your community
Write a letter to the editor
Help put up lawn signs around impacted communities
Volunteer a skill (social media, graphic design, you name it)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more ideas on how to plug into the campaign
To Governor Sununu, NH Public Utilities Commission, and NH Site Evaluation Committee: We demand that you reject the Granite Bridge Project, which includes a 27 mile, 16 inch diameter, high pressure fracked gas pipeline along Route 101 from Stratham through to Manchester and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Epping larger than the “Rainbow Tank” in Boston. We have deep concerns about:the $350 Million dollar cost that will be passed on to ratepayers; Liberty’s lack of transparency with the public; risks that leaks and explosions pose to public safety; damage to property values all along the route; environmental threats to the Lamprey River, Lake Massabesic, and Manchester’s water supply; locking NH into fossil fuel dependency when we need to transition towards clean, local, renewable energy; changes to the rural character of the region; and potential expansion of industrial infrastructure.NH can and must do better for our economy, our environment, and the communities we care for.
To get plugged in and voice your opposition sign our petition below!
Donate to STOP The Granite Bridge Pipeline
Can you help us reach our $5000 goal to fight the Granite Bridge Pipeline?
Liberty Utilities proposes to build a fracked gas pipeline from Manchester to Stratham and a storage facility to hold 2 Billion cubic feet of fracked gas in Epping.
Why We Need to Stop the Pipeline:
Fracked gas pipelines lock us into using dirty fossil fuels for decades to come and stand in the way of building renewables.
Burning methane (natural) gas causes global climate change.
Pipelines put the health and safety of frontline communities in NH at risk as well as the communities living frontline to extraction.
The Granite Bridge will cost ratepayers $340 Million Dollars, paid for through rate increases.
We have the renewable energy solutions that we need. With your support, we can REFUSE and RESIST the Granite Bridge pipeline and create the renewable energy future that we need in our communities.