Unless you live completely off the grid, you cannot have missed the impressive advertising campaign for the Northern Pass Project, which proposes building 140 miles of electric transmission lines through New Hampshire to bring Canadian electricity to New England. These daily print and television ads, which feature "real" New Hampshire people who support the Northern Pass Project, are everywhere, it seems.
A little less in your face are the voices of the many opposed. Citizens, local governments, the environmental community, and the tourism industry have voiced their objections to the Northern Pass Project in letters to the editor and town meeting warrant articles, on websites and lawn signs, in songs and demonstrations, and with orange balloons that match the height of the 135' high towers that might one day criss-cross the White Mountains.
In a much less colorful way, but with facts we hope will inform the debate, the New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) has just issued a paper voicing our members' position on the Northern Pass Project. Simply put, NEPGA maintains that no power project deserves special treatment by regulators. We strongly believe that the Northern Pass Project needs to follow the same rules as its competitors and operate on a level playing field. Trying to game the system and gain unfair advantages in the marketplace is just wrong. This line is unnecessary and costly. When additional power is needed to meet the demand of consumers, put competition to work and ensure that a fair market can deliver those results.
To be clear, NEPGA is made up of competitive electric generating companies in New England. Our member companies represent approximately 27,000 megawatts (MW) -- or nearly 85 percent -- of generating capacity throughout New England. These same companies provide nearly 5,500 well-paying and skilled manufacturing jobs, while contributing millions of dollars to charitable endeavors throughout the region. Overall, NEPGA's companies pay over $190 million annually in state and local taxes.