As we approach the start date for the Site Evaluation Committee’s adjudicatory hearings on Northern Pass it is clear that opposition to the 192-mile transmission line that will tear across New Hampshire is increasing significantly. Let’s look at the results of polling the University of New Hampshire Survey Center has done on Northern Pass the past few years.
Two years ago more New Hampshire residents supported Northern Pass than opposed it, with 42 percent supporting and 34 percent opposed. That support began to slip later in 2015, and the downward trend continued in 2016, with 39 percent of those polled actually opposing Northern Pass and only 35 percent supporting.
Today? Northern Pass is underwater and sinking fast. A UNH poll released last month revealed opposition is accelerating this year, with 42 percent opposing Northern Pass and only 34 percent supporting it. That’s a 16 point swing against Northern Pass in less than two years.
If you don’t believe those numbers, then believe this. Just this month volunteers submitted a petition to the Site Evaluation Committee with 3,465 signatures from people throughout New Hampshire opposing Northern Pass.
It’s no wonder public opinion is trending against Northern Pass. With the cost of power dropping in New Hampshire, increasing questions about whether New Hampshire ratepayers will be made to pay for the project, and more and more New Hampshire residents and businesses recognizing that the permanent damage to our landscape, fragile wetlands, property values and tourism industry that will occur from constructing 192 miles of towers and lines, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Northern Pass just isn’t worth it.
At the same time people in Quebec are beginning to organize against Northern Pass, in part because the Quebec portion of the transmission lines would cut through the Hereford Forest conservation area. "’It's a movement that is beginning, expanding and growing,’ says Nature Québec CEO Christian Simard.”
The people of New Hampshire and Quebec know that Northern Pass serves no public purpose and is a threat to the environment. Will their elected officials listen?