Higher rates for biomass power?
In June, Sununu vetoed SB 365, a bill that would require Eversource and other NH utilities to pay above-market rates to the state’s six biomass (wood-burning) power plants. The governor said it would cost too much for consumers, placing a strain on the elderly, those on fixed incomes and businesses that already complain about high energy rates in the state. Supporters of an override say the legislation is needed to diversify the state’s energy production and provide much-needed jobs in the North Country, not only at the power plants but in the state’s timber industry as well.
"Should the NH Legislature override Gov. Sununu's veto of SB 365, and require Granite State utilities to pay higher rates for electricity generated at biomass (or wood-burning) power plants?"
Discussion held on Citizens Count website and Facebook page June 16, 2018
No: 115 citizens were against overriding the veto and thereby requiring higher rates for biomass power.
- “There is no reason to force utilities to buy above market rates for anything, let alone energy. Our energy prices are already the highest in the nation and we should be focused on lowering energy costs...not increasing them.”
- “NH shouldn't subsidize any industry be it solar, biomass or the Balsams.”
- “They only want state utilities to pay higher rates because the biomass industry is struggling. If a business can't survive on its own then they should have to go out of business, not get subsidies from the government.”
Yes: 17 citizens were in favor of overriding the veto and thereby requiring higher rates for biomass power.
- “Yes… It's renewable fuels that otherwise get wasted and dumped in the woods.”
- “Yes, override the veto and work to convert coal plants to burning our trash, or incinerators into power stations/plants.”
- “Yes, it should keep prices lower in the long run. Look at what Eversource did as soon as the Gov. vetoed that bill. They asked for a large increase and the PUC gave it to them.”
Other: 34 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
- Climate change: “There is no climate change, its (sic) a natural cycle of the planet!”
- Energy policy: “Why not make a bill to be supplied from renewables? Like from Quebec? Hydro is as clean as it gets.”
- Utility regulation: “The world of electric utilities is NOT free a market. So I'm really not sure why ‘free markets’ are being used as an argument here.”
*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.