Above photo from: https://www.nature.com/news/natural-gas-the-fracking-fallacy-1.16430

Unnatural Feelings In the Upper Valley

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Dave Celone

A Spendthrift Pipeline to Poach Money from the Unwary

Imagine all the people in the Upper Valley, you and me, ten years from now once we realize we've been played for fools. There we stand, staring at some long, ugly, large pipe that snaked its way into our Upper Valley and our lives to deliver to us the promise of a clean fuel source, marketed strategically and effectively to change our minds to use the invisible stuff it carried to heat our homes and make our water hot.  

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Imagine how we'd feel when the price of that promised gas became untenably high, high to the point of us having to switch back again to our former fuel source just to be able to keep ourselves from shivering in winter's cold clutches without going bankrupt. Then, once we paid the price anew to switch our furnaces, boilers, and hot water heaters back to what they had been, we wince. We'd have been played the fools by some out-of-the-area fuel provider bent on making a quick buck against the wishes of towns and the people in them who spoke up, alas, only as a minority. The fuel provider won, pumped a bunch of gas into our homes, then fled when the price skyrocketed, leaving behind another eyesore, and what had been months of construction that tore apart our roads and snarled traffic as we tried to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of our Upper Valley environs.

Think the above scenario is simply a pipe dream?  Someone's foolish notion of what might happen should Liberty Utilities succeed in building a pipeline to send fracked gas from Pennsylvania north to tear apart still more of our beautiful land with a whole new large-scale construction project? It's no pipe dream. In fact, it may become reality as the utility tries to convince the NH Public Utility Commission to allow it to slice in two some corridor of land that we all take for granted as ours, as natural, as part of the Upper Valley we love and adore, enjoy and admire. Many us are here for similar reasons—we love to be here, consorting with the natural beauty that creates community rather than divides it, or us.

So, some facts.  Have a look below...

1.  Liberty Utilities (LU) files a motion for Confidential treatment as it seeks to gain approval to build a pipeline to bisect our region:

2.  In the above motion, LU mentions the following: 

3.  LU also mentions the following in the same motion:

Really?  Our public interest is outweighed by the privacy and business interests of LU, the company that plans to build on our land? Do we Upper Valley-ites, bound together by our land and its beauty really believe this? Will the NH Public Utility Commission agree to LU's request to hide information from the people whose land it wants to use? More importantly, do we care?

What, one wonders, does LU have to hide? Could it be the following cost analysis of the projected pricing of the fracked gas they hope to inject into the veins and arteries of our backyards, streets, and homes? Have a look for yourself. The following pricing projection chart speaks volumes to me:

So, LU wants to build a pipeline to push fracked gas from PA into our Upper Valley. They want to build their pipeline on our land. We'll get terribly excited once their marketing and public relations efforts go into high gear, and we'll switch our home furnaces and water heaters over to their gas to take advantage of this "great new opportunity," of course. We'll be led by our nose rings and LU's tethers to the promised land of milk and honey...and high-priced gas. Then, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration as show above, gas prices will spike and we'll be smacked by LU paying them higher rates, and thus higher profit margins, while we go deeper into debt.  Hmmm, that sounds like the wool being pulled over our eyes from the get go.  

And, how about this?  

The above just so happens to be included as an attachment to the LU petition to expand its operations into the Upper Valley thanks to some smart guy named Jonathan Chaffee, a concerned NH citizen who has done his homework and has learned gas prices may go skyrocketing upwards soon.

Now who is Arthur Berman who wrote the above?  Well, according to the website http://oilprice.com/contributors/Arthur-Berman/articles, Berman's bio follows: 

Berman looks highly credible to me.  Maybe we should listen to what he has to say about the price of gas ready to shoot into the stratosphere.

But wait, there's still more good stuff to consider.  The Town of Lebanon's City Council has voted unanimously to stick with the goals of the Paris Climate Accord which, for one, considers "natural" gas as simply another fossil fuel that puts plenty of methane and carbon into the atmosphere. 

And, as a final chart to highlight what's really going on, this one from a faculty member at Cornell University, Richard Howarth, shows the following carbon dioxide emissions of various fuel sources in yellow, and methane emissions in red:

SEE: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ese3.35/full for the full article by Howarth.

As you can see, "natural" gas doesn't seem to be natural at all.  In fact, burning it will pump more methane into our beautiful Upper Valley than burning fuel oil. Maybe we ought to call natural gas "unnatural gas," or "dirty gas," and start calling fuel oil, "clean oil."  After all, oil certainly looks like it's considerably cleaner than the gas LU wants to pump our way.

Want to do something about this?  Send a letter to:

or shoot her an email at: debra.howland@puc.nh.gov and reference the below while you're at it:

[That's the docket number and the name of the petition LU has filed with the NHPUC to get this pipeline request approved.]  

And share the link to this article with all your friends on social media.  https://dailyuv.com/news/916834 or, a more memorable version that gets you to the same place:  https://dailyuv.com/noUVpipeline. We in the Upper Valley now have a great opportunity to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn our way to ensure our region remains what we want it to be—not someone else's vision of what or who we should be, and at our considerable expense. I've also put the link up on my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dave.celone. So you can just click over to that link and share it from there, easy as pie. And ask your friends to share it on Facebook with their friends as well. That will make your/our voices heard.

As I think more about this, let's send Debra lots of emails. Tell your friends to send her emails.  She's the Executive Director of the NH Public Utilities Commission, and she's the right person to give a piece of your mind. The more people who write or email Debra, the more likely it is the NHPUC will deny LU's request to build a new artery to be filled with gas that will cross our landscape. And you'll feel good knowing you're part of  a growing effort to prevent LU from wriggling its way into our home territory.

Let's go to it.  And don't forget, our other option is not to buy into LU's marketing schemes designed to convince us that their product is actually going to benefit us.  That means not buying LU's fuel product should a pipeline ever get approved or built. We vote with our pocketbooks and wallets. There's no more powerful tool we have, collectively, to combat some major energy player from outside our region who wants to horn in on our land and our homes.

As for me?  I'm burning wood with fuel oil backup to heat my home. I also like pellet furnaces, and just might try to get one installed soon. It's a nice, local source of fuel that helps plenty of people in our region. Click Here to contact Morty Bailey at Lyme Green Heat to discuss options for a pellet furnace to heat your home. Morty's a regular guy who's smart as a whip and happens to know way more than most about fuel sources, prices, and whether you'll benefit by going with pellets versus oil (or dirty gas). Marty's email address is: pellets@lymegreenheat.com. And did you know pellets can easily be poured into your home just like oil from Morty's pellet fuel tanker truck? Amazing what technology can do.

Now, how about you?  Let's get this pipeline stopped together. It's just not the right time for dirty gas to be snaking its way into our lives and land. Let's not be played for fools. We have a chance, and a choice right now. Let's make the most of it!


Click Here to sign up to receive an email each time Dave Celone posts a News article on the dailyuv.com. And Click Here to read Dave's most recent article titled "An Economic Bubble About to Burst?" about higher education's arms race to price itself out of existence and the toll it's taking on us and our economy.



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