• ECHO Action Editor

Is Concord Steam killing emergency funding for NH's dairy farms?

NH Dairy Farmers Struggling (WMUR)

Is Concord Steam killing emergency funding for NH's dairy farms?

"We're bleeding out tens of thousands of dollars."

19 out of 120 dairy farms in NH have shut down in the past year. Grasses for grazing and hay for winter feed are in short supply and low quality. Drought and climate change are already having an impact on the Granite State.

In 2008, NH set up an emergency fund for dairy farmers, but it was never funded. Now, NH seems to have $25M to convert Concord Steam to fracked gas, even though another option from Green City Power would avoid the costs and climate risks that are increasing threats against dairy farmers and other Granite Staters.

The increased use of methane gas is against NH's own best interest. Climate change impacts all farmers, the maple syrup, tourism and ski industries and many species including moose and lobster are on the decline, which also impact the tourism industry.

In California, 26 million trees have died as a result of drought. Could that happen in NH? Perhaps. Maple trees and syrup are already in decline in New England. This was discussed by a panel of business people and maple syrup producers from across the state in March at Keene State College. Concerns and awareness are rising.

The question is, WHY are NH lawmakers pushing climate risk methane on us when there is no need and other options are available? What is the real rush to push this project and who is benefitting? The people of NH do not seem to be the beneficiaries of the Concord Steam conversion, which would be implemented by Liberty Utilities.

There has been little attention given to this project, including from press outside Concord, because Concord Steam is viewed as an issue for the City of Concord. Concord Steam does serve city buildings, some private ones and the Concord School District, but it also serves our State House and state buildings in Concord.

The decision as to whether this project will proceed has been left to the Public Utilities Commission and the Concord Steam Task Force, both of which are pushing for fast-tracked approval. There is still time to have your voice heard, but not much. Please consider submitting comments to the PUC docket and encourage others to do so.

Allowing this project to go through will open the door of the state to more gas pipeline expansion, something NED pipeline opponents know is not in the people's best interest.

Learn more about this issue and how your immediate response can help.

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