New Hampshire Community Rights Network
102 Lakeview Hts., Alexandria, NH 03222
Re: HB-368, an act relative to the heating of certain state-owned buildings in Concord and making appropriations therefor.
Dear Mr. Chairman and Senate Capital Budget Committee Members,
NH Community Rights Network assists communities in elevating their right to protect themselves and the places they live, for the sake of the health, safety and welfare of residents, local economies, social justice, and environmental sustainability. NH Community Rights Network opposes HB 368 and encourages you to do the same.
HB 368 is special interest legislation. There is nothing wrong with corporations making a profit and having legislative support of projects. But the decision to move forward with such projects against the will of affected communities and ecosystems reveals corporate determination to exercise its claimed "right" to profit at the cost of communities wanting to protect their health, safety and welfare, economic sustainability, and natural environment.
Residents impacted by the production, transportation and use of additional fracked-gas infrastructure in the Granite State are expressing opposition to such harmful activities. Just think back to the withdrawn Kinder Morgan, Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project. Any expressed support for fracked-gas infrastructure by politicians, lobbyists and those that are in a position to profit from these projects, in the face of significant opposition from those most affected, does not justify your support nor does it constitute any statewide benefits.
The plan to shut down Concord Steam and convert it to a fracked-gas burning plant at an exorbitant cost to Granite Staters is simply put, bad legislation. Liberty Utilities is looking to use New Hampshire as a resource colony for profit. Not giving affected communities a final say in the matter is inconsistent with the rights enumerated for residents in our state constitution or our long history of local decision-making through Town Meeting.
The State is charged with protecting the rights of residents, not corporations. Part 1, Art. 31 of the New Hampshire Constitution makes clear the purpose of the meeting of the New Hampshire legislature, “The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public good may require.” The state constitution does not say that your purpose is to make such laws as special interests may require.
Clearly, Part 1, Art. 8 of the state constitution makes your job very easy; “All power residing originally in, and being derived from the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them.” Listen, do not just hear the voice of the people – for your power is derived from the people and you are at all times accountable to the people.
NHCRN opposes HB 368 because the conversion of Concord Steam from a NH-sourced wood product biofuel to fracked-gas to benefit Liberty Utilities does not protect the health, safety or welfare of human or natural communities. I urge you to vote ITL on HB 368.
NHCRN Coordinator, Board of Directors