Latest Northern Pass Burial Bill Would Send Revenue To Highway Fund

Feb 19, 2014

A cross-section of an HVDC power cable - the type that a connection to Canada would feature if burial were required - which an electrical worker brought to the hearing as a prop
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The latest legislative proposal that would require power lines be buried had its first hearing Wednesday.

Republican Senator Jeb Bradley has put forward a bill that would require so-called elective electric transmission lines – ones not needed to avoid blackouts – be buried along state owned roads and rail corridors. The bill would lease the right to bury a power line or pipeline, and send all of the revenue to the highway fund.

“It will help energy siting, it will protect property values, and the leasing agreements will protect... or enhance the highway fund,” Senator Bradley told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Bradley’s bill will get some push-back, however.

The state’s largest business lobby, the Business and Industry Association, took issue with the bill’s requirement that elective projects use these corridors, and would prefer that the corridors be optional.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were on-hand testifying that the proposal would result in projects and businesses passing over the Granite State.