Liberty Utilities Statewide Gas Expansion
Their fracked gas is for EXPORT.
WHY ARE LIBERTY UTILITIES AND OTHER GAS COMPANIES PUSHING GAS THROUGHOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE?
In 2014, the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline was suddenly rerouted into Southern New Hampshire. Liberty Utilities worked with and learned from, pipeline giant Kinder Morgan. After very strong opposition with more than 90% of landowners denying property access for surveyors, the pipeline was withdrawn due to lack of contracts. Since that time, Liberty Utilities has been seeking segmented contracts statewide that exceed the capacity of the proposed NED pipeline.
The NED pipeline was to run from Pennsylvania throughNew York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and to the gas hub in Dracut, MA. The NED and Access Northeast pipelines were intended for export. Current efforts appear more innocuous, especially when segmented into smaller projects, but the intent is the same.
There is statewide opposition to natural (fracked) gas expansion, so why the push for gas? Liberty Utilities claims they don't have enough capacity to serve existing customers, threatening rolling blackouts, which the NH Consumer Advocate debunked. When asked, Liberty Utilities denies that the gas would be for export, but to understand the pipeline push, a closer look at the big picture is required.
Regional gas expansion includes such international energy corporations as Energy Transfer Partners and Kinder Morgan. The gas push is driven by the fossil fuel industry, not need, nor public demand. Liberty Utilities is owned by the Canadian company, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation (APUC).
Wells are being fracked at such a rate that there is a gas glut, meaning there's far more than needed. What to do with all that gas? Leave it in the ground and protect health and climate from emissions? No, the fossil fuel industry wants to build more pipelines. Right now, excess gas is flared, burned off, because there is no where for it to go. To do expand pipeline infrastructure, companies must prove need. By making lucrative offers to cities and towns, they obtain the contracts that prove a false need for the gas and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approves the projects. They are called a rubber stamp agency because it is extremely rare for projects to be denied and the FERC is a government agency with appointed commissioners, funded by the fossil fuel industry.
In the Northeast, most gas comes from the Marcellus Shale deposit in Pennsylvania. In order for the gas to be exported to the Canadian Maritimes and to European markets, contracts must be obtained throughout New England to justify interstate pipelines to be approved by the FERC. Access Northeast is a pipeline that would make this possible. Recently, because of the explosions and fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover MA, Access Northeast has been "shelved", temporarily put on hold. Massachusetts public health officials are demanding studies of health and safety related to gas. Increasing climate change impacts, calls for 100% renewable energy and serious concerns about health and safety have increased the rush to expand pipelines.
Ratepayers would pay for the pipelines and LNG tanks. They also pay for any leaked product, which leaves no incentive to fix the leaks. If the project is not profitable, Liberty Utilities customers pay stranded costs.
Nova Scotia is preparing for such gas delivery, with two LNG export facilities planned. With the Trump administration's plans to reduce regulations, lower EPA clean air and water standards and unapologetic support for fossil fuel expansion, these projects loom large with greater threat, despite public opposition. If these pipelines are approved, it increases the risk of ever-expanding fossil fuel projects in the Northeast, a region that the fossil fuel industry calls "pipeline poor".
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently called for more aggressive measures to stop the use of fossil fuels saying we have 2 years to make significant changes and 12 years to get off of fossil fuels completely before increasing climate change impacts cannot be reversed.
Pipeline from Manchester to the Stratham and LNG tank
Manchester, Auburn, Candia, Raymond, Epping, Fremont, Brentwood, Exeter, Stratham and abutting towns.
• $340M natural gas pipeline to serve businesses and residents.
27 miles of 16 inch pipeline
• Located in the utility right-of-way on Route 101
• 2 BCF liquified natural gas (LNG) 170' tall, 200' diameter tank on a 140 acre site in a quarry adjacent to Route 101. Located in a residential area of Epping, immediately adjacent to Fremont.
LEBANON & HANOVER
Pipeline, LNG Tanks and CNG Gas Storage Depot
Liberty Utilities wants to build a fracked gas distribution system in Lebanon and Hanover, but there has been strong opposition. In Hanover, Dartmouth College was expected to be an anchor customer, but the school refused the gas. The project would begin with a gas depot in Lebanon where compressed natural gas (CNG) would be stored and trucks would deliver the gas. In the second phase of this plan, Liberty would expand the depot to include multiple 60,000 gallon tanks of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
• Lebanon and Hanover are both PUC intervenors.
• Dartmouth College’s sustainability task force has a roadmap for reducing it’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and choose biomass or solar over gas.
• At the 2017 Lebanon Town Meeting, Ready for 100 goals were unanimously passed: 100% renewable electricity by 2030, 100% renewably-sourced heat and transportation by 2050. Town leadership will work with all sectors to transition toward renewables rather than natural gas or other fossil fuels.
• During Liberty Utilities' September 2017 hearing, at the direction of the Lebanon City Council, Councilor Clifton Below stated that expanded use of natural gas is not in line with its Master Plan, which focuses on renewables and efficiency.
• City of Lebanon supports the Paris Climate Agreement.
• The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) rejected Liberty’s initial proposal.
• In 2018, the PUC granted Liberty Utilities petition for a franchise in Lebanon and Hanover.
• Liberty's plans include a storage depot for trucked-in gas to supply an 11-mile pipeline through Lebanon and Hanover. The small initial phase would use CNG trailers, to be replaced in later phases by multiple 60,000 gallon LNG tanks.
• Sustainable Lebanon acquired 1100 signatures from local residents asking the Lebanon's City Councilors to do everything they can to stop a Liberty Utilities pipeline from going through their town. The petition was presented at a rally and petition presentation on October 17, 2018.
KEENE GAS EXPANSION
Gas Plant and Pipeline
• Keene City Councilman Terry Clark is an intervenor.
• Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee (ARLAC) has provided comments of concern to the PUC.
• Gas expansion is not in line with the city’s climate action plan.
• IN 2017, Keene City Council voted to support the Paris Climate Agreement.
• PUC granted Liberty Utilities petition for a franchise in Keene, which was contested and in hearing at the PUC.
BETHLEHEM LANDFILL METHANE
CNG Gas Depot and LNG Tanks
• Gas supply from Bethlehem NH landfill.
• Liberty wants to keep the amount of gas and how long the supply will last a secret.
• They want to keep their customers private. Are they new or existing customers?
• Current customer? A win for the environment.
• New customer? Would be hooked on gas when the supply runs out.
CNG Depot and Trucking Facility
PELHAM / WINDHAM GAS EXPANSION
• Liberty Utilities was granted regulatory approval for gas expansion in Pelham and Windham.
• The schools and municipal buildings were converted to gas.
• Compressor station in Windham was expanded in size.
• Metering (take) station in Windham.