Archive for November, 2017

councilorclarkI have joined with the New Hampshire Pipeline Health Study Group in a lawsuit to reverse the NH Public Utility Commission’s unlawful granting of a fracked liquid natural gas franchise to Liberty Utilities (EnergyNorth Natural Gas) Corp. in Keene.

It must be noted that fracked LNG is more dangerous than virgin LNG because of the lethal chemicals absorbed into the gas during the extraction process. This is not your father’s Oldsmobile. The NH Pipeline Health Study Group wants to address the fact that fracked gas is not the same as the traditional “natural” gas contemplated by PUC rules, with studies linking carcinogens and a cocktail of other harmful chemicals to fracked gas, emissions and leaks from gas compressor stations and other gas infrastructure to respiratory and other health problems.

It is well-established that Keene sits in a valley that is prone to air inversions that traps particulates in the air from burning fossil fuels. Because of the carcinogens and other harmful chemicals used in the extraction process of fracking LNG, burning and leaking gas would trap these poisonous particulates into the air and cause generations of health issues including respiratory and heart disease as well as cancer among the residents and visitors of Keene.

KeeneLiberty Utilities (EnergyNorth Natural Gas) Corp. is just a small part of a global conglomerate that has established a fossil fuel monopoly in New Hampshire and other states. They are bent on burning every drop of LNG left in the Earth and are using political lobbying to block free-market forces from developing solar and other sustainable energy sources that nearly all other industrialized nations are rapidly exploiting. Keene is the first of 32 plants planned in New Hampshire.

A rapid transition to sustainable energy sources is necessary to address the climate change crisis, and many NH state laws and actions, including this order, are acting as roadblocks to pursuing sustainable energy sources, and allowing the building of a new large, high customer volume hydraulically fractured (“fracked”) gas facility in Keene will impede the development and availability of sustainable alternatives in Keene for at least another generation.

RenewNotFrack

We are asking for reconsideration and rehearing of an order granting a franchise to convert compressed natural gas (“CNG”) and liquid natural gas (“LNG”) without notice, a hearing or the opportunity for intervention, public input or challenge to Liberty Utilities (EnergyNorth Natural Gas) Corp.

 

The Motion
NH Code of Administrative Rules
Exhibits A-C
Exhibits D-G
Exhibits H-J
Exhibits K-N

If you would like to help, please contact our attorney:
Richard M. Husband, Esquire 
10 Mallard Court 
Litchfield, NH 03052 
N.H. Bar No. 6532 
Telephone No. (603)883-1218 
E-mail: RMHusband@gmail.com

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final2It would be very easy to say that the most important issues today are well beyond just Ward 3 in Keene. While I am aware of those issues – and they are many – I say, “but”.

And this is an important “but”.

Neighborhood issues tend to get lost when decisions are made on the planning board and council levels. That’s why it’s important that you vote to keep me as your ward councilor. I focus on those smaller issues because they frequently end up as bad consequences of larger decisions that are made.

For example, we have a policy that sometimes allows excess city property to be developed in discordance with an abutting neighborhood. 

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That was the case when I worked with the North Central Neighborhood Group, The Elm Research Institute and city staff to create the North Central Nature Park on North and Carroll streets.

We also started an anti-heroin campaign that culminated in a city-wide addiction solutions task force that I co-chaired with councilor Randy Filiault. Oh, by the way, they don’t deal drugs on the North St. property anymore.

We have zoning regulations that sometimes allow high density zoning to encroach on medium density neighborhoods. An incident happened recently when I worked with Old Walpole and West Surry road residents and city staff to defeat that proposal.

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Our Planning Board rules allow developers to take as much time as they like to complete residential housing developments, no matter how it effects resident abutters. I recently worked with abutters and city staff to jump-start the so-called “Keene Sand and Gravel” development at 431 Court St. A new fence was constructed and stakes are now in the ground in preparation for a new home this spring.

Not too long ago, East Surry Road was devastated by a flood. I stood on the city manager’s desk to get that bridge and road damage repaired ASAP. Last month, Councilor Richards and I convinced fellow councilors to move-up the Gunn Rd. repaving project one year to start this coming spring in order to preserve this deteriorating road before more extensive repairs became necessary.

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The Sentinel asks, what are the important issues? I would argue that those are the issues that residents call me about every day. Whether it is a pothole or tree hanging over a power line, constituent service is Job One for a ward councilor.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t been doing other things, like working to increase efficiencies in city operations. In fact, we have moved forward on a joint procurement initiative with the school district and county to share expenses and eliminate duplication. But, feet are being dragged and you need me to keep those feet to the fire.

There has been an economic development committee at work to bring business into town, and I have advocated for a sustainable path that takes us away from the same old technologies and methods that failed us in the past decades. You’ll recall Bruce Springsteen’s lines in his song, “My Home Town…these jobs are goin’ boys and they ain’t comin’ back.” Well, this is the 21st Century and we need to acknowledge that by facilitating modern development.

Solar Panel with green grass and beautiful blue skyFor example, soon the city will enter into a power purchase agreement with a solar company to buy only electricity generated from solar power in New Hampshire – at a lower rate than Eversource. You need me to stay on that purchasing committee to make sure it happens. Otherwise, you’ll likely be paying for expensive, polluting fossil fuel electricity for another generation.

In order to continue doing these things I need your vote on Tuesday, November 7th