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Oil and Water

By David B. Hilder, Roger M. Klein, Marc M. Sadowsky, and Nicole Seligman

Part of the reason for high heating costs in New England is the lack of a local oil refinery and the subsequent high costs of transporting fuel oil into the area.

There have been several plans to build oil refineries in Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts, but they have all been dropped--usually due to local opposition.

This non-binding question asks whether the voters approve of building a refinery and a deep-water port alongside it to allow supertankers to bring in crude oil.

Because the question is non-binding, there are no major campaigns for or against its passage. Arguments in favor of it are primarily economic--a refinery could reduce the local cost of fuel oil and gasoline and eventually provide new jobs by attracting new industry. Against it stand questions about the environmental impact of a refinery and port.

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