State's Public Advocate: Northern Pass Not Providing Enough Info For Public To Verify Claims

Dec 3, 2015

The state's public advocate says Northern  Pass is not providing the information needed to back up the benefits it says New Hampshire will receive if the controversial project is approved.

Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general appointed to represent consumers in the case, says Northern Pass’ “claimed benefits include lowering the cost of energy, providing low carbon, renewable power, creating jobs, increasing tax revenue and generally growing economic activity.”

But there is so little information the public cannot see how those benefits would occur, Roth wrote in a December 2nd letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, which must approve the project before it could go forward.

Northern Pass did provide an economic impact study, Roth said, but the company is insisting it be kept secret.

Roth said he does not have an opinion on whether the SEC should refuse to accept Northern Pass' application as being incomplete. He said that was a decision for the SEC members and he was just providing information.

On Monday the SEC is scheduled to meet in Concord to consider whether the application is complete.

In an e-mail Thursday afternoon Northern Pass spokesman Martin Murray wrote: "The issues raised in the letter are not pertinent to the SEC’s decision whether to accept the application.  To be clear, we consider the adjudicative portion of the Site Evaluation Committee process to be the proper venue to explore the topics in Mr. Roth’s letter. Nevertheless, we will be responding to the letter to address a number of the questions he asked."