Leter: Biomass bill is not what North Country needs

Published: 9/12/2018 12:00:27 AM

The closing of northern New Hampshire’s paper mills eliminated hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and destroyed lives. What the North Country needs is not a stop-gap solution like subsidizing biomass incinerators, but a solid, visionary plan to attract and sustain future-oriented businesses.

Overturning the veto of Senate Bill 365 would provide subsidies to biomass incinerators and to the Wheelabrator trash incinerator in Concord. Why was this bill even proposed? These incinerators will not be economically viable and profitable for their owners unless your tax dollars are contributed to their bottom line through increased charges on your utility bills. Your energy costs will rise so that the short-term profits of a handful of companies will let them keep their doors open and offer short-term employment to some North Country workers.

This is not what the North Country or N.H. taxpayers need or deserve. There is an even more pressing reason to sustain the veto of SB 365. Six wood-to-energy incinerators and Concord’s Wheelabrator trash incinerator will be given up to $68 million, in a hidden tax on your electric bill, to continue releasing toxic substances such as lead, mercury and arsenic into the air we breathe. These biomass incinerators accounted for 21 percent of the state’s industrial air pollution in 2014. Overturning the veto of SB 365 would make ratepayers support a failing industry and have the air we breathe polluted in return. This does not make sense.

Call your legislators and ask them to sustain the veto of SB 365 and commit themselves to the development of a sustainable plan that respects N.H. ratepayers and the potential of the North Country.



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