Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Mike Skelton, released the following statement today in response to the Site Evaluation Committee’s denial of the Northern Pass project:
Today’s decision by the SEC to deny the Northern Pass project’s application after only two days of deliberations is shocking and disappointing. NH faces serious energy challenges and we can’t afford to shut ourselves off from solutions like Northern Pass that will lower energy costs while also creating jobs and new tax revenue.
It is particularly disappointing that the SEC chose to cut off deliberations abruptly and not provide Northern Pass the opportunity to address concerns raised during the process. The SEC process has been bogged down by delays since its start and the sudden dismissal of the project further highlights the flawed nature of this process. The business community, on multiple occasions, raised concerns that the Counsel for the Public was not adequately representing our views as is required by state law.
This decision will have a chilling effect on energy infrastructure development in NH for the foreseeable future and I’m very concerned with the impact it will have on our economy. Our energy challenges are not going away and, in fact, will only worsen and we are now left with the prospect of wondering whether our state approval process is capable of allowing potential solutions to move forward.