Last week we shared a rumor that Governor Chris Sununu was prepared to veto SB 365 and SB 466. Both pieces of legislation were bipartisan sops to green energy that would drive up our already unreasonably high electric rates.
In his veto statement on Tuesday, Sununu said the two bills would cost Granite State ratepayers approximately $100 million over the next three years in higher electricity costs, placing a strain on the elderly, those on fixed incomes and businesses.
Sununu said SB 365 would create an immense subsidy for the state’s six biomass plants but would not guarantee their solvency and would only generate a 3.5 percent revenue increase for wood suppliers while costing ratepayers an estimated $25 million over three years.
He said SB 446 would be a handout to large-scale solar energy developers while costing ratepayers an estimated $5 million to $10 million per year.
Democrat NH House Leadership came back with a predictable song and dance.
House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff, D-Penacook, said both bills received bipartisan support and called them “two pieces of legislation vitally important to jobs and energy production in New Hampshire.”
“As the legislature learned through considerable testimony, the governor’s decision to block SB 365 will cripple the biomass industry and jeopardize hundreds of forest industry jobs across the state, particularly in the North Country,” he said.
Being a good ‘Democrat leader’ Shurtleff never broaches the prospect that using legislative force to take money from one set of individuals to prop up another could impact anyone but the benefactors of his largesse.
In the world of progressive wealth redistribution taking money out of the pockets of small business owners and families has no downside if it empowers or expands his personal political priorities. But it does have a cost.
Each of these bills deliberately raises New Hampshire electricity rates in direct contradiction of what the state’s new energy strategy describes as the “critical goal” of reducing those rates.
The stated goal of these bills is to preserve several hundred jobs in the forest products industry. Yet by pushing electricity rates ever further upward, these bills jeopardize tens of thousands of jobs in other industries, particularly in manufacturing, which employs 70,000 people in the Granite State.
You can’t suck tens of millions of dollars out of the marketplace to backstop an industry that can’t compete and claim there are no consequences. But that is what Shurtleff and the bi-partisan progressives on energy are trying to do.
Republican Jeb Bradley, the force behind passing Medicaid Expansion to the long-term detriment of the Granite State, was also ‘all-in’ on the Left’s green energy wealth distribution model.
“As many as 900 jobs of hard-working men and women in the North Country are likely to be lost as well as the loss of $250 million of annual economic activity these biomass plants represent,” he said. “Not only will the veto of SB 365 have a devastating impact on families and small businesses, but the ripple effect of this job loss will impact state revenues and potentially the unemployment trust fund.”
Bradley, like his buddy Shurtleff, expresses his dissatisfaction in a vacuum without any consideration for what happens to the “hard-working men and women,” families, or small businesses, who earned that money or their plans or priorities for it.
It disgusts me how openly progressive some of these “Republicans” are and their complete disregard for simple economics. Then there is their easy embrace of Alinskyesque rhetoric.
I expect it from Democrats. I expect it from Bradley as well. But that doesn’t excuse the abuse of power or the indiscriminate nature of the plunder or their defense of it.
Governor Sununu, whatever his other political faults, got this one right.