Standing room only crowd for the White Mountain National Forest and Northern Pass meeting in Easton

If you wouldn’t build a Wal Mart in the White Mountain National Forest, why would you build a private project like Northern Pass? — Dannis.

It’s the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, not the Appalachian National Hiking Trail, not the Appalachian National Recreational Trail. –Metheny.

Does a new boa constrictor threaten the White Mountain National Forest? –More.

We don’t plan to fail. –Abbott.

150 people sacrificed foliage, fine weather, football, and the Highland Games to attend the info meeting sponsored by the Easton Conservation Commission on September 23. Keynote speaker Rebecca Weeks More and eight participants from the Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Conservation Law Foundation, Responsible Energy Action LLC, and Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests discussed various aspects of Northern Pass’s effort to cross ten miles of public land in the national forest.

More presented a broad historical overview of why and how the forest was created and emphasized that it is meant to serve the long term public good, not short term private gain. Schibanoff, Dannis, and Duggan (REAL) examined the USFS permitting process, Metheny (ATC) described requirements to cross the AT, and Kimball (AMC) presented an overview of the AMC’s newly completed visual impact study that will play a crucial role in both the DOE and USFS evaluations of Northern Pass’s presidential and special use permit applications, respectively. (Anticipating the AMC’s release of this study, Northern Pass issued its “clear-eyed view” blog, following, on Sept. 21.) Abbott addressed the Forest Society’s ongoing Trees Not Towers campaign. Baker (REAL) and Courchesne (CLF) participated in the concluding discussion session with the audience.

“Bulldog” Brian Tilton has posted the audio transcripts here


Northern Pass And The Governor’s Race: Who Stands Where

Among the many issues facing gubernatorial candidates this year is the Northern Pass project.

During the last race for governor two years ago, the Northern Pass project made only a brief appearance.

In October of 2010, Governor Lynch took a break from campaigning to announce the Northern Pass project at a press conference in Franklin.

Listen to the NHPR report

Taxes create a sharp divide in Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ debate

GOFFSTOWN — New Hampshire’s three candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination squared off Wednesday in a one-hour debate covering issues that ranged from taxes and gambling to the Northern Pass project.

The responses from Bill Kennedy, Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan were as varied as the questions during the Granite State Debate in a packed auditorium at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. The area they seemed to agree on most is the current Republican-dominated Legislature.

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Keystone XL Route Changes Pay Lip Service to Environmental Concerns

To satisfy environmental concerns, TransCanada is proposing a new route for portions of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Nebraska.

But the new route does little to assuage grave environmental concerns about the project.

The focus is on the sensitive sandy areas that skirt the Ogallala Aquifer, the state’s most important aquifer.

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Democrats show no love for Canadian oil

Amid all the hoopla of the Democratic party convention this week and the promises of shared prosperity, there was little for Canada to take away.

In the party’s national platform, released to coincide with the event in Charlotte, N.C., Canada barely rates a mention and there is nothing on the most important unresolved issue between the two countries and a big pillar of Canada’s own future prosperity — the stalled Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s a stark contrast to the Republican plan, which has made North American energy independence with the help of a stronger partnership with Canada and Mexico a key objective, and promises approval of the controversial US$7.6-billion pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in the U.S. Gulf “on Day One” of a Mitt Romney administration.

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Keystone Pipeline: Approval is Inevitable

While Romney outlined a plan for energy independence that is heavy on fossil fuel extraction a few weeks ago, the Obama administration blueprint seems to rely on investment in clean sources of energy along with developing tighter standards for efficiency. Compare the two plans, and it appears Democrats have the edge on the environmental vote over Republicans in the 2012 election.

But it’s with good reason that President Obama has avoided the Keystone XL, a proposed pipeline by TransCanada Corporation that would carry fuel from the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta to refineries in Texas. While environmentalists won’t ditch Obama altogether for his positioning on Keystone, former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean said the administration’s plans to eventually push the pipeline forward would certainly raise the ire of activists around the country and create an unwanted distraction.

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TransCanada Offers to Reroute Keystone XL; Activists Target Pipeline Construction in Texas

The pipeline giant TransCanada has offered to alter its Keystone XL oil pipeline to avoid environmentally sensitive areas on the route between the Alberta tar sands and Texas. President Obama had rejected initial plans for the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year, but later pledged to fast-track approval of the southern portion stretching from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada says its new proposed route takes into account public concerns and feedback from environmental officials in Nebraska. Opponents say the Keystone XL pipeline will poison local communities and further harm the environment through the increased greenhouse gases of extracting tar sands oil. On Wednesday, activists with the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas held their third action against the pipeline’s construction by locking themselves to TransCanada equipment near Sulphur Springs.

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First U.S. Tar Sands Mine: Six Years Digging Up Sixty-Two Acres…For Just 6 Hours Worth of Oil

How much oil can we expect to get out of the very first tar sands mine on American soil? About six hours worth.

That’s how long the 4.7 million barrels of bitumen that U.S. Oil Sands Inc plans to extract from a 62-acre mine in eastern Utah would sate our American oil demands.

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Keystone XL Tarsands Pipeline Route Still Crosses Sensitive Regions

September 5, 2012 – Bold Nebraska Executive Director Jane Kleeb released the following statement in response to TransCanada’s new proposed route for the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline:
“The new route still risks our land, water and property rights.

The new route still crosses high water tables, sandy soil which leads to higher vulnerability of contamination and still crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Nebraska’s economy.

“We will not allow middle American to be the middle man for a foreign tarsands pipeline wanting to export their extreme form of energy to the highest bidder.

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In Utah, A Tar Sands Fight Over Oil and Environment

A few years earlier, Robidoux had established Fort Uncompahgre near present-day Delta, Colorado, then built a second maison traitte (or “house of trade”) 100 miles north in the Uintah Basin, bookending access to the abundant beaver, deer, elk, and bear of the Uinta Mountains and Book Cliffs. But Robidoux’s venture was short-lived. In 1844, the Utes burned both his outposts — because he was a huckster and dealer of Indian slaves, the story goes — and Robidoux passed into the fog of Western history.

This part of Utah, one of the most remote reaches of the Lower 48, has a long history of attempted exploitation of its natural riches. Today, companies are eyeing another potential source of wealth, this one underground. One small Canadian company believes it holds the key to developing the sizeable deposits of bitumen, or tar sands, that are splattered across the eastern and central part of the state like mud on a pickup’s front fender.

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Two Years Later and No Path Forward for Northern Pass

After a summer when many in New Hampshire expected to hear about a revised route and a renewed public relations campaign for the Northern Pass transmission project, the current proposal, which surfaced almost two years ago, is facing new obstacles:

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