Rindge: Officials keep keen eye on Kinder Morgan

  • The Rindge Select Board will continue to fight against pipeline-related issues, after reaching a consensus at its Wednesday meeting. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/9/2016 6:27:50 PM

The Rindge Select Board has reached consensus that the town needs to continue battling against pipeline-related issues.

Despite Kinder Morgan announcing on April 20 that work on the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline would be suspended indefinitely, board members stated Wednesday that the town should continue to put safeguards in place in the event that the gas company decides to bring the project back.

“I think we need to continue fighting, especially against the PUC issue,” said Selectwoman Roberta Oeser. “If we don’t, the cost of building future pipelines could be placed on the ratepayers.”

Recently, Eversource Energy filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission to enter into a 20-year-contract to buy natural gas from another proposed pipeline project known as Access Northeast.

The project is supposed to charge ratepayers for the cost of the pipeline project, although Eversource has stated that the deal would save ratepayers money.

“If this is approved, it will change how pipelines are paid for,” said Maryann Harper, spokesperson and co-founder of N.H. Pipeline Awareness Network. “There would be no downside for pipeline companies because we would front the bill.”

Referencing the suspended project, Oeser also said that many anti-pipeline organizations are working to get the NED pipeline dismissed with prejudice, rather than having Kinder Morgan withdraw the project.

“If they withdraw and then come back later, all the stuff on the old docket goes away and they get a clean slate,” said Oeser.

The board also discussed changes to the town’s trespassing ordinance.

Hoping to approve revisions at the next Wednesday meeting, the ordinance would ensure that Kinder Morgan or other pipeline companies would not be able to survey town-owned property without the town’s permission.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.

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