• ECHO Action Editor

Jay Inslee opposes Granite Bridge, will Sanders follow, does Warren care?

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

Monadnock Region NH — Jay Inslee, 2020 Presidential Candidate from Washington State, who is making climate change his campaign's top issue, came out in opposition to the Liberty Utilities Granite Bridge Pipeline today.

Jay Inslee opposes Granite Bridge Pipeline. Will Sanders follow? Does Warren care?

ECHO Action has been meeting with campaign staffers to discuss details about the 27 mile fracked natural gas pipeline and massive LNG tank.

Inslee's staff of climate scientists were very thorough in their research and were supportive in the view that natural gas is not a bridge fuel, but a means to extend our reliance on fossil fuels.

The 2 billion cubic foot (BCF), 170' tall, 200' diameter tank would be located in a residential area of Epping and take 250 days to fill.

"Liberty Utilities proposes a $340 million project that doubles its pipeline capacity and multiplies its storage of LNG/LPG by a factor of 16. The LNG tank planned for Epping, at 2 billion cubic feet, would equal half the LNG storage for the entire state of New Jersey. Really?" said Patricia Martin in an opinion column in the Concord Monitor in May of last year.

The question is, who is this pipeline for? Liberty Utilities increases its customer base and pays Epping to clean up their water pollution by giving them another toxic hazard. Something seems out of balance here.

Epping residents, where the LNG tank and industrial liquefaction plant are proposed to be constructed in a former quarry, have shown concern from the beginning of this project. While Liberty Utilities changes plans and partners, playing the shell game to try and get Granite Bridge approved by the Public Utilities Commission, residents have become more organized and far more well informed.

The next game move is on Wednesday, July 31st at Epping Middle School where Granite Bridge will host a "science fair" trying to gain support by showing how LNG liquefaction takes place.

If Liberty Utilities NH were up to speed on climate science, no LNG demonstration would be required. This week the BBC reported that contrary to the idea of 12 years left to act, we have more like 18 months.

"Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030.

But today, observers recognise that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year.

The idea that 2020 is a firm deadline was eloquently addressed by one of the world's top climate scientists, speaking back in 2017."

2020 presidential candidates are talking about support for the Green New Deal, but few have real plans for action. Jay Inslee has the most detailed plan on climate of the entire field. Even his plan has plans.

Plans include: 100% Clean Energy For America, An Evergreen Economy For America, A Call To Action For A Climate Conservation Corps, Global Climate Mobilization and Freedom From Fossil Fuels...even his plan for workers includes a $25 minimum wage for those working in the renewable energy field. That's extraordinary and a great incentive to transition fossil fuel workers into renewable jobs.

At his announcement today, a few said, "Jay who?" Most environmentalists are aware of Inslee's effort that has raised climate change to a top candidate issue, or the fact that he has been pressing the Democratic National Committee for a climate debate. Outside of climate activism, his name recognition is rising, but struggling in a massive field of Democrats. How many are there now? 25? Who can keep track.

With Inslee's announcement comes an inherent challenge.

Bernie Sanders opposed Line 5 pipeline, then Inslee. Inslee opposed Line 3 pipeline, then Sanders. Sanders publicly opposed the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline in 2015. After his announcement, NH's senators began to take action. Will he also oppose Granite Bridge? Will other candidates get a climate clue and join them?

What candidates are missing is the hundreds of pipeline opposition groups nationwide, added to organizations fighting toxic emissions, spills, waste, dumping, fracking, plastics and other pollutants that need their voices heard. How can it be that they're not seeing common ground in reaching out to those putting their lives on hold and on the line, to fight back against the petrochemical and pharma industries and the FERC in bloody battles, sometimes literally to the death.

Inslee is making a strong effort to reach out to these communities. ECHO Action, Rights And Democracy NH, the Hollis Democrats and other NH organizations met with Inslee in early April. He shared his successes in Washington State and urged us to share information with him and his staff about our concerns.

Where are the other candidates? The toxic oppression is overwhelming and the current administration is rolling back regulations that protect air, water, health and safety, reducing barriers to pipeline construction and pushing laws to prosecute activists peacefully demonstrating under their First Amendment rights. 25 years in jail for protesting a pipeline?

So here's the challenge candidates. Step up or shut up. If you're claiming to be in on the "Green New Deal" and climate action, let's see some action right now. Speak up. Learn about projects in your home state and call them out for the damage they threaten or are already doing. Propose solutions and give us detailed plans on how you'll resolve them. Reach out and raise up.

At home, I ask that our New Hampshire State Senators reconsider their support of the Granite Bridge Pipeline and LNG tank. In 2018 every Democrat and all but two Republicans, put their support behind fossil fuel expansion. In light of the IPCC announcement, increasingly frightening severe weather events, the falling cost of solar and wind and the jobs created by the renewables industry, now would be an impressive time to become a 100% clean energy supporter.

One more thing. Elizabeth Warren, the people of Massachusetts are begging you to oppose the Weymouth Compressor Station. What's holding you back? When I spoke to you about pipelines and FERC in March, your only response was, "You can count on me." When exactly does that start?

Solidarity. Pipeline activists stick together.

Stephanie Scherr

Activist Echoes Editor

What could go wrong with Granite Bridge Pipeline? A lot.

Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

Jay Inslee issues

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 26, 2019 

Contact: Inslee Press, (206) 486-0563

Inslee Announces Opposition to the Granite Bridge Pipeline

New Hampshire climate advocates praise Inslee’s leadership in advocating for Granite State families, and call on other 2020 candidates to follow Inslee’s lead. 

Seattle, WA – Governor Jay Inslee announced his opposition to the proposed Granite Bridge Pipeline in New Hampshire this morning. Inslee joins local environmental advocates in his opposition to the pipeline, and is the first 2020 candidate to speak out against its construction. 

Liberty Utilities proposed 27 mile-long natural gas (fracked methane) pipeline would extend from Manchester to Exeter, NH and includes a two billion cubic foot liquified natural gas (LNG) storage facility and liquefaction plant in Epping. The pipeline would expand natural gas dependence in New Hampshire and guarantee the continued use of dangerous fossil fuels for decades.

“It is long past time for the U.S. to end its dependence on fossil fuels,” said Jay Inslee on Friday. “In New Hampshire, we have an opportunity to begin that transition now, by preventing Liberty Utilities from cementing its reach across New Hampshire through the Granite Bridge Pipeline. This pipeline would raise costs for consumers, threaten our public health, and weaken our planet. It’s time to stand with local New Hampshire leaders fighting the pipeline’s construction. 

“We have the technology and the will to transition to a clean energy economy, but we have a president in the White House who would rather cater to the oil and gas industry than protect American families. If elected president, I would act immediately to end U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, and put power back in the hands of American consumers and workers. Just like we were the first country to send a man to the moon, we can lead the world in creating a clean energy economy.” 

Inslee has been vocal in his opposition to pipelines across the country. In recent weeks, the governor called for the decommissioning of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines in the midwest, earning significant praise from environmental leaders. Inslee has brought national attention to these projects, highlighting the devastating impacts these pipelines have on water quality and public health.  In response to this morning’s announcement, New Hampshire environmental leaders praised Inslee’s leadership as the first 2020 candidate to take a stand against the pipeline and urged other candidates to follow Inslee’s lead. 

“Governor Inslee is right that now is not the time to expand fossil fuels, the energy of the past, not the future. Let’s be honest, the only reason the pipeline and tank are being pushed is for the profit of the few without the concern of the many. We’re excited the Governor is standing with the citizens of Epping and fighting for their families and their futures. We ask that other candidates and elected leaders oppose this unnecessary project and consider people first, instead of corporate interests.”

– Joe Perry, Founder, Citizens for Local Control 

“Jay Inslee exemplifies leadership in calling out the Liberty Utilities Granite Bridge Pipeline and massive LNG tank that threaten New Hampshire communities. We fought the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline, now it's Granite Bridge. Jay Inslee understands that citizens across America are putting their lives on the line in epic battles against mighty fossil fuel companies, begging legislators and FERC to hear their pleas for Freedom From Fossil Fuels. We're in a state of climate emergency. We need all of our legislators, in every level of government, to listen to scientists and follow Jay's lead.”

– Stephanie Scherr, Director ECHO Action

“350NH has been a leader in opposing the Granite Bridge Pipeline, and we applaud Governor Inslee’s leadership and willingness to stand with us against more fracked gas in our state. We urge more leaders and elected officials to join Governor Inslee and 350 in opposing these unnecessary fossil fuel projects that will only increase utility’s profits at the expense of our citizens, our environment, and our climate.”

– 350 New Hampshire, Jennifer Dube, Pipeline Organizer



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