350 New Hampshire Celebrates Denial of Rate Hikes to Pay for Failed Granite Bridge Pipeline

photo of a crowd in front of the state house with climate themed signs including some that say stop the pipeline and tank!

Dover, NH – Grassroots organizers with 350 New Hampshire celebrate the NH Supreme Court decision to deny Liberty Utilities’ request for a rate increase to recover the money they lost pursuing the Granite Bridge Pipeline. Liberty originally asked the Public Utilities Commission for the ability to have ratepayers pay for the failed Granite Bridge project, were denied, and took their fight to the Supreme Court. After wasting even more money in their attempts to make NH residents pay for climate-destroying fracked gas, Liberty must move on beyond the Granite Bridge. 

“Ratepayers of NH should not be responsible for our utility companies’ continued attempts to expand fracked gas use,” said Rebecca Beaulieu (she/her), Communications Director for 350NH. “I am pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling and hope that Liberty realizes the time for fracked gas is in the past. We need utility companies to prioritize clean, renewable energy expansion that lessens energy cost burdens on everyday people.”

350 New Hampshire fought the Granite Bridge Pipeline project in 2017 when Liberty first proposed it, citing concerns about community health, safety, and climate crisis. Thousands of Granite Staters wrote letters to the Public Utilities Commission, contacted their representatives, and showed up at protests across the state to oppose the project before it was defeated in the summer of 2020

“Utility costs have already skyrocketed because of how expensive fracked gas is right now,” said Jennifer Dube, Climate Justice Organizer for 350NH. “Let this be a message to the fossil fuel-reliant companies in New England: we will not allow for more gas expansion in this region, or for utility companies to raise rates for their customers. Utility companies must stop pursuing more fracked gas or else the climate crisis will only get worse, and our bills will only get higher.”

About half of New England’s energy use is from fracked gas. It is expensive, hurts community health, and contributes to the climate crisis. Preventing Liberty Utilities from recovering funds they lost pursuing more fracked gas use is a step in the right direction for New Hampshire. 

350 New Hampshire is pushing for a just transition to clean, renewable energy that puts people and the planet first.

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.