Fracked Gas Pipeline Issue

No Fracked Gas Pipeline Here!

Liberty Utilities wants to build an 11-mile fracked gas pipeline running from Rt. 12-A in West Lebanon through downtown Lebanon and on to Hanover. Don’t let it happen!

What is “fracked” gas? Fracked gas is a fuel that we get from shale rock, using an unconventional drilling process called horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Water and highly pressurized toxic chemicals are used to fracture the rock and release the product. Fracking is controversial because people have reported health problems related to water contamination and toxic chemicals (VOCs) released in the air. Many earthquakes have been linked to storage of the liquid coming back up out of the shale wells, and linked to the drilling itself. Because these wells produce for only 3–8 years (4 years on average), more and more holes must be drilled.

Where would the gas be going? Liberty Utilities would truck liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a storage facility to be built near the Lebanon landfill on Rt. 12-A. There, the liquid would be converted to a gas at a regasification plant, and then pumped through an 11-mile pipeline into the proposed service area of Lebanon and Hanover.

Who would use the fracked gas? Large commercial and institutional customers and some residences.

What are the risks of bringing fracked gas to our area? Methane leaks, and explosions. And higher taxes! It will take many trucks filled with liquefied gas every day to bring the fuel to West Lebanon. This means increased traffic, road congestion, wear and tear on the streets . . . costing taxpayers more money. Plus, there’s a risk of explosions if these trucks are in an accident. The gas will be stored in West Leb in above-ground containers. There’s a risk of methane leaks from the pipeline, possibly causing explosions and contributing to climate change. Natural gas is 85% to 95% methane. Methane is 86 times more potent a global-warming gas than CO2, within a 20-year time frame.

But isn’t it “natural” gas? No. The fact that gas comes from the earth means that gas companies call it “natural.” But that’s misleading. Fracking creates health hazards and pollutes the earth. That’s unnatural.

Isn’t gas cheaper than renewables? Both have up-front costs. Converting to a gas furnace is costly, and heat pumps are costly. But renewables are less expensive over time. Research shows that heating a home with heat pumps, at today’s electricity prices, is close to the cost of heating with natural gas. And gas prices are constantly changing.

What other kinds of energy could we use instead of gas? Options for heating: air exchange heat pumps, geothermal, and modern wood pellet heating. Solar, wind, and water power can produce electricity to power the heat pumps. The many alternatives to fracked gas are becoming more efficient and less expensive. It’s a good time to embrace renewable energy, or wait for renewables to suit you. For now, try weatherizing your home: install insulated outer doors, replace leaky windows, and install insulation. Energy customers shouldn’t lock themselves into using a global-warming fossil fuel.

Why should I care? Everyone should care! Fossil fuels contribute to climate change. We need to end our dependence on them now, if we want to reduce the worst effects. On our coastlines, 26 million Americans will be displaced by rising sea levels—where will they go? Warming ocean temperatures will kill most sea life. New Hampshire and Vermont may no longer be able to produce maple syrup and other income-generating products. The more polluted planet Earth becomes, the sicker we all get.

Now, ask yourself: Is it acceptable to use a fuel that harms the health of people living in the areas where it’s extracted? A fuel that may cause explosions locally? Once people and businesses convert to gas furnaces, they’d be locked into decades of fossil fuel use instead of transitioning to renewables. Is that what our future should look like?

How can we stop this pipeline from being built? Speak out! The hearing on the pipeline is September 7, 2017, though no date has been set for a final decision. Send your comments before Sept. 7.

  1. Email

Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Director Howland
Mention docket number DG 16-852.
Include your name and town.

  1. Write

PUC Director Deborah Howland
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301-2429
Mention docket number DG 16-852.
Include your name and town.

  1. Put up a yard sign! For info, email or
  2. Tell your friends. Learn about the pipeline, and explain why it’s a dangerous idea.

Sample script:

“I oppose the Lebanon/Hanover fracked gas pipeline proposed by Liberty Utilities. Our community needs a renewable energy future, not more dangerous fossil fuels that create health hazards. Traffic is already congested in West Lebanon, and more large trucks will make it worse, with more repairs and higher taxes.”

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