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Battle Lines | The Northern Pass Energy Project

Battle Lines | The Northern Pass Energy Project
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At first, I was surprised by Amey’s acquiescent reply. But the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense, because the very reason that John Amey opposes The Northern Pass is the same reason he’ll stay right where he is if it goes through: He’s connected to his land, his community, and his family. His life is here. In a sense, and perhaps ironically, he had proven Gary Long’s point: that no structure can keep people from what really matters to them.I left Pittsburg in the cool twilight of an early-spring evening, driving a sinuous ribbon of asphalt through a sparsely settled landscape. It would be many months and likely years before the fate of The Northern Pass would be known. But whether it would be approved or not, I was pretty sure of one thing: The issues it raises won’t go away, because the issues transcend any single project. They’re issues of property rights, power, and profit. They cut right to the core of our expectations and our future. And they’re inseparable from the people. The issues won’t go away, because the people won’t go away.

“I know my trees,” Amey had told me, as we’d sat in the Happy Corner Cafe, waiting for dinner. “They don’t have names, but they have personalities, and I know them.” He’d spread his sausage-like fingers apart in a gesture that was probably unconscious, but nonetheless seemed to me an attempt to show me something that he couldn’t quite explain. But he needn’t have worried; I understood just fine.

At press time in mid-September, changes to the northern end of the proposed route were under consideration in response to public reaction.


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