Businesses in the North Country are joining forces with other area groups to oppose the Northern Pass transmission proposal. The project is a joint venture of Northeast Utilities and NStar and seeks to build 40 miles of power lines through Northern and Central New Hampshire. The company has already purchased thousands of acres of land -a move that has angered environmentalists and many area businesses as reported by Kathleen Callahan for the New Hampshire Business Review:
“This would absolutely destroy the tourism business up here, without a doubt,” said Wayne Charron, who owns a gift shop and mini-mart in Campton, among other businesses. “People don’t want to float down the river looking at high-tension wires and towers.”
The owners- Northern Pass LLC- are fighting back with a major public relations campaign, writes Callahan:.
Among its claims — of which it also has many — it contends Northern Pass would beef up New England’s long-term energy portfolio with a steady source of renewable, low-cost power, create up to 1,200 construction jobs for New Hampshire workers and bring in millions in tax revenue for towns and the state.
Opponents of the project say they intend to use their campaign as an issue for the race for Governor.
“I invite other people in office to come out against Northern Pass,” said longtime North Country Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who last December announced his opposition to the project, which he equated to “an extension cord dragged over the top” of the region. “It’s an economic issue.”