Letter: Override biomass bill veto and save our jobs

Published: 9/15/2019 12:01:12 AM

The House meets next Wednesday to decide which of the many bills Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed to override. House Bill 183, designed to help six independent biomass plants around the state to continue operations, has significant economic impacts to our entire state economy.

Those opposed claim the bill will raise rates. This is nearly impossible as the wood plants produce only 100 megawatts of a total of 18,000 megawatts used on any given day. The “subsidy” some politicians complain of amounts to less than $2 per month to the typical ratepayer.

At this time, some wood plants are powering down as the wholesale price for electricity is too low for them to remain profitable. If these plants close permanently, it will cost ratepayers more than the 3-year cost of HB 183 because the 100 megawatts of lost biomass electricity will cause New Hampshire’s share of regional grid capacity costs to increase in all future years by about $17 million a year. Thus, a dynamic $1.4 billion forest industry stands to be decimated while our regional grid costs increase.

Beware of “contrived science” claims being made that these plants are polluting our atmosphere with carbon. The EPA considers wood “carbon neutral.”

Over 1,000 jobs stand to be lost, forestry operations will cease and, worse, family businesses will go bankrupt if this bill is not overturned. I ask all legislators to please vote to overturn the veto of HB 183 on Sept. 18.



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