To The Daily Sun,
I want to comment on the article that appeared in your paper on Dec. 9, regarding statements made by the outgoing N.H. Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement. Clement discussed an expected shortfall in the highway fund of $50 million by the middle of next year. Clement further discussed how he would solve this deficit, including another gas tax increase, a hike in vehicle registration fees, or charging a premium tax on individuals who are environmentally sensitive enough to drive alternative fuel vehicles and whom he feels do not pay enough in gas tax for road maintenance.
I am wondering why Mr. Clement did not mention the creation of an energy corridor. Back in 2012, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester chaired the SB 361 Commission, where the Department of Transportation commissioner was designated as a member of that commission. This commission, including Mr. Clement's designee, Michael Pillsbury, the deputy Transportation commissioner, determined that it was feasible to bury electric transmission lines underground in state-owned rights of way. By creating an energy corridor, proposed energy projects, such as the Northern Pass, would be buried along state-owned rights of way and the state would reap the revenue paid by Hydro Quebec for the use of the state's rights of way. In that instance alone, it has been projected the state could earn up to $50 million a year.
It is a complete "no brainer," but here we are two years after this determination and still talking about raising taxes as the solution. Why are we not following suit along with Vermont, Maine, New York, and other forward-thinking states?
Why is our governor not speaking out on our behalf and using the bully pulpit to advocate for the burial of HVDC transmission lines? Through her inaction, it appears that she is on the verge of allowing the destruction of this beautiful Granite State. The Northern Pass project, with its proposed 1,500 made-in-China, lattice style steel towers, will deface the White Mountain National Forest and destroy property values for 187 miles.
Lee Ann Moulder
- Category: Letters
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