Majority support giving towns veto power over high voltage line projects - 330 participants

Jul 11, 2017

A bill defeated this year, HB 145, would have required towns and cities to approve high-voltage power line projects passing through their borders. Read more about this issue. On December 26, 2016 and July 11, 2017, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should towns have the power to veto high voltage transmission lines, such as Northern Pass, that would pass through their borders?”

“Should towns have the power to veto high voltage transmission lines, such as Northern Pass, that would pass through their borders?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

High Voltage Lines NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 330 participants gave 633 responses

A total of 92% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 8% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 330 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 633 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: The majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 68%, were in favor of giving towns power to veto high voltage transmission lines that would pass through their borders.

  • “Utilities need to be motivated to show the value of their projects. If they can't convince a town that a project is worthwhile then it isn't worthwhile.”
  • “This basic principle is what NH is all about. Local control, not state or fed unless lives are in danger.”
  • “The residents pay the taxes on the land. They have every right to decide what's on it.”

No: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 32%, were opposed to giving towns power to veto high voltage transmission lines that would pass through their borders.

  • “Towns should have a seat at the table, but the state needs cohesion to function in the best interests of all its citizens.”
  • “Giving cities and towns a blanket right to veto a project is granting to much negotiating authority to the town unless the utility has some authority restrict the town from being able to benefit from the eventual project.”
  • “No one town has the right to stop the rest of us from getting energy.”

Other: As noted above, 8% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Northern Pass: “Pretty sure there is zero benefit for all of NH. It will only benefit Mass and CT.”
  • Alternatives: “I was thinking a more realistic approach would be to include residents from affected towns on the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. The committee could still have its core members from the various state departments, but they'd be joined by elected officials from each town to hear each project.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

HB 145 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Jan 11, 2017

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