PRESS RELEASE: Bipartisan Group of 22 State Senators Endorse Granite Bridge Infrastructure Project
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Londonderry, NH – May 17, 2018 – Liberty Utilities announced today that a bipartisan group of 22 State Senators have endorsed its proposed Granite Bridge energy infrastructure project.
Granite Bridge is designed to meet the need for additional natural gas service to homes and businesses in New Hampshire. Granite Bridge would connect existing in-state infrastructure through a new pipeline, proposed to be buried underground completely in the state-owned right-of-way along Route 101, between Stratham and Manchester. The project would also feature a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility, which would be sited in an abandoned quarry in Epping. This facility would store natural gas purchased in the summer when prices are low and provide that low-cost fuel to customers in the winter when prices increase.
Today’s announcement shows broad bipartisan support for the Granite Bridge project among elected leaders who represent nearly every corner of the state, including communities along the proposed project route.
“It is clear that Liberty Utilities has listened closely to New Hampshire’s citizens and proposed a project that minimizes impacts and provides access to needed natural gas,” said Senate President Chuck Morse. “Our economy depends on low-cost, reliable sources of energy. Taking advantage of existing infrastructure and using an energy infrastructure corridor is a common sense approach,” continued Morse.
Senator Jeb Bradley, Republican Majority Leader and Vice Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said, “This project will bring much needed natural gas for heating purposes to New Hampshire’s residents, saving them real dollars, while improving our environment.”
Senator Bill Gannon, a Republican who represents the towns of Epping, which would host the proposed storage facility, Brentwood and Exeter said, “Granite Bridge is a good deal for Epping and New Hampshire. Safety has to be the top priority with a project like this, and that’s exactly how Liberty Utilities is approaching it.” Gannon continued, “Liberty Utilities did the right thing going with a ‘full containment’ LNG tank, which is the safest design for an LNG facility. Putting this whole facility at the bottom of an abandoned quarry makes sense. It increases safety and helps keep it out of sight.”
Senator Martha Fuller Clark, a Democrat from Portsmouth, who is a passionate advocate for the environment, said she supports Granite Bridge as a smart, responsible and forward looking approach to meeting our state’s energy needs, especially with regard to heating our homes and businesses. “As a sponsor of the legislation that created energy infrastructure corridors in New Hampshire, I am pleased to see Liberty Utilities using the corridor along Route 101 as a means to minimizing the environmental and property impacts when siting an energy project in our state,” said Fuller Clark. “Additionally Granite Bridge will make it possible to store and deliver natural gas to a greater number of New Hampshire customers, especially during a cold snap like we experienced this past winter, at a lower cost and with fewer greenhouse gas emissions than home heating oil, the current alternative. Climate change is a real threat to all of us. Increasing access to natural gas will reduce air emissions and help to fight climate change, as well as lowering our high energy costs in the short term while we work to create an energy future that will rely solely on true renewables, including solar and wind,” continued Fuller Clark.
Senator Sharon Carson, a Republican who represents Auburn, Hudson and Londonderry said Granite Bridge is important for economic development in her district. “Natural gas is critical for New Hampshire’s growing economy,” said Carson. “Granite Bridge is necessary to make sure our state continues to be an attractive location for businesses to relocate and expand. Without Granite Bridge, Liberty Utilities will be unable to continue offering natural gas service to new customers, which would have a devastating effect on economic growth.”
Senator Donna Soucy, a Democrat from Manchester, said she is confident Granite Bridge will offer significant benefits to her constituents. “Without access to natural gas service, working families will see their heating bills skyrocket, which is something many of my constituents simply cannot afford,” said Soucy. “Building Granite Bridge will make sure citizens in Manchester and across the state continue to have access to low-cost, clean, efficient heating fuel, while creating hundreds of construction jobs for local workers.”
Senator Ruth Ward, a Republican from Stoddard known for her work on legislation to strengthen the regulatory review process for energy projects, says she supports the Granite Bridge project. “Liberty Utilities has made a very sound and reasonable proposal here,” said Ward. “This project is very different from other larger infrastructure projects we’ve seen proposed over the last decade or so. Granite Bridge will serve a clear local need without having a negative impact on scenic views or private property, so I think it’s a win-win.”
“We took great care in designing the Granite Bridge,” said Susan Fleck, President of Liberty Utilities operations in New Hampshire. “We have placed an emphasis on minimizing impacts, providing benefits to New Hampshire and outreach to communities and stakeholders. It is great to see the positive response from these State Senators,” continued Fleck. “We are going to keep working hard to answer questions and provide information to the communities along Route 101, interested stakeholders and the public about the importance of Granite Bridge to New Hampshire,” concluded Fleck.
The full list of Senators announcing their support today is below:
Bob Giuda – District 2
Jeb Bradley – District 3
David Watters – District 4
Martha Hennessey – District 5
Harold French – District 7
Ruth Ward – District 8
Andy Sanborn – District 9
Jay Kahn – District 10
Gary Daniels – District 11
Kevin Avard – District 12
Bette Lasky – District 13
Sharon Carson – District 14
Dan Feltes – District 15
Kevin Cavanaugh – District 16
Donna Soucy – District 18
Regina Birdsell – District 19
Lou D’Allesandro – District 20
Martha Fuller Clark – District 21
Chuck Morse – District 22
William Gannon – District 23
Daniel Innis – District 24