Questions For Liberty Utilities On New Granite Bridge Project
NH Labor News Guest Column
Below is a letter to the editor in response to the post, “Bipartisan Group of 22 State Senators Endorse Granite Bridge Infrastructure Project.“
The Granite Bridge Pipeline with its 2 Billion Cubic Foot LNG tank looks like a done deal.
Liberty has racked up endorsements for Granite Bridge from a bipartisan group of 22 New Hampshire senators, backing from the labor unions, has held 75 meetings with town officials along the route, and three Chambers of Commerce (Nashua, Manchester and Concord) have intervened in the Granite Bridge docket before the Public Utilities Commission as supporters of the project. In addition to the millions of dollars being promised in tax revenues for the towns, Governor Sununu fully supports the project.
Many supporters reference the environmental benefit of switching from oil to gas heating.
Although burning gas produces 27% less CO2 than heating with oil, that doesn’t account for the impact of methane leaked from the distribution system. And, the leaks in Liberty’s system are significant! According to Liberty’s 2017 Annual Report (page 49), they had “Unaccounted for Volumes” of 2.2% statewide. Methane or CH4 is a much more powerful Greenhouse Gas than CO2 over the first 20 years.
A major policy problem in the NHSAVES program makes it impossible to recommend a high efficiency air source heat pump as a more sustainable, lower cost heating option than oil. For a look at the relative costs of different heating options, people can visit https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/home-energy-savings-program/heating-cost-comparison/
Since Liberty customers pay for the “unaccounted for volumes,” and the leaked gas impacts the climate, perhaps Liberty should release a detailed report and supporting data explaining the losses?
Patrica Martin Rindge, NH
This article has been submitted to the NH PUC and various media outlets for publication.
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