• ECHO Action Editor

Response to FPU Energy & Sustainability professor's "NH Energy Blog"

Our response to the blog of Franklin Pierce University's professor of Energy and Sustainability (deleted from blog):

"This chart also gives one a sense of the challenges the utility companies face as they look to lock in sufficient electricity to supply us over the coming years. Do they secure long-term higher-priced electricity contracts, do they subject us to the whims of the short-term markets and maybe prices won’t spike again like last winter, or do they mitigate potential price spikes by buying insurance through futures contracts. These are important and challenging decisions that the utilities make under regulatory supervision because ultimately it is NH ratepayers that end up paying for whatever choice they make. What would you do?"

New Hampshire residents have been making their voices heard in opposition to the NED pipeline, Northern Pass and the fast tracking of Concord Steam into a fracked gas factory. We have spent a great deal of time doing outreach, education, litigation, and learning from each other and other New England states. The outcry against the onslaught of pipelines and proliferation of fossil fuels is ubiquitous. It is irresponsible to perpetuate the ecocide that this industry has knowingly propelled into motion. While we all must concede to our part in creating the problem, it is far more critical that we immediately put known and available solutions to work.

We no longer live in a world where we can debate the cost of energy without factoring in the consequential impacts of such choices. New Hampshire lags behind other New England states in our climate readiness and action to mitigate the inevitable impacts. Our "energy IQ" has been raised. In the objection to pipelines and Northern Pass, we have moved significantly forward. We're ready for clean energy options and our legislators are taking notice, now expecting our presence and voices in support of a clean energy future.

350NH & ECHO Action are still waiting for Governor Hassan to respond to and fulfill our request that she seek a federal task force to study offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. In promoting energy efficiency and innovative energy choices, we not only mitigate some of the impacts we're already experiencing, but we also promote a new image for a state that until now, has been stodgy at best. If we want to retain our young professionals and families, we need to provide an environment where innovation is valued, a green economy grows, the cherished scenic and recreational aspects of our state are protected, and the rate at which children are exposed to chemicals and toxins at home and in school is considered at every turn.

Fracked "natural" gas should no longer be in our bag of tricks. We've just reached a 400 PPM carbon milestone that should have us in a tailspin to divest from fossil fuels immediately. Our air and water are already threatened. Accepting gas and oil as continued options, let alone decisions to expand these filthy, outdated resources, increase the climate threat. I won't even go into the devastating effects on global plant and animal species. It also makes us complicit in the health hazards to those who live amongst the fracking fields, unable to defend themselves against monster corporations. Further, the wastewater being sprayed upon crops without our consent, damaging frackquakes and the wasteful use of potable water under drought conditions is unforgivable.

As a professor at Franklin Pierce University, your voice is one that has the potential to lead our youth into the world with an outlook that is promising, encouraging and optimistic. That's challenge enough without complicating their future, continually supporting a dying industry. They should be given the tools to go out and create positive change in the world. I hope that you will use that voice to promote solutions in a state that is now ready to move in that direction.

~ SS