Two months ago, we announced here on our blog that we were undertaking a new research project that would examine the economic, social and other impacts of a proposed natural gas pipeline to run through southwest New Hampshire. At the time, we noted that our analysis was to be paid for by Kinder Morgan, the pipeline’s developer, although as is our custom, the Center would retain full control over the design and content of the final study.
As conversations about various energy questions in New Hampshire demonstrate, policymakers – local, state and federal – are increasingly faced with the task of sorting through the pros and cons of these types of projects. Too often, they have little guidance about the quality of data, research and opinion presented by the contending parties. We continue to believe that infusing these conversations with unbiased information is critical. That is why the Center’s board agreed to take on what was sure to be a controversial project like an analysis of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Our Board concluded that there was an important role for the Center’s experience, credibility and objectivity in informing the policy-making process surrounding the project.
Since then, Kinder Morgan and the Center have terminated their agreement for a study of the project, due to disagreement over its terms. While this particular project is not moving forward, the Center will continue to focus on the broader question of energy costs in New Hampshire.