The biomass power debate is virtually ended in New Hampshire. This past week federal regulators declared the NH law to force power companies to buy electricity from wood-burning plants, illegal. Yesterday the plants dropped their court case.
A group of New Hampshire biomass power plants say they’re dropping a state Supreme Court challenge over an embattled subsidy plan.
The plot to force job creators and families to pay more for electricity to prop up a few hundred jobs was bipartisan. I’ve long opposed it. GraniteGrok exposed the scheme and the state reps, Republican State Senate leaders, and even long-time “conservative” activists who ignored basic principles. Their plan was never anything more than coercive government force (wealth redistribution) to take money from ratepayers prop up an uncompetitive industry.
All the Democrats loved it so yeah, we took them to the waste-wood shed as well.
The legislature overrode the Governor’s Veto of the original bailout bill which was later deemed illegal under federal rules. The court case is now moot and had been dropped
Predictions Come True
Early on, in this debate, I predicted that the bailout plan might be the end of Biomass energy in the Granite State. It looks like I was correct. And while I’m not sure what that sector would have looked like without this, creative destruction has to do its work.
I’ve also noted that New Hampshire biomass plants were not the only destination for the state’s waste wood. It was just the easiest. Instead of looking for other buyers or uses influencers convinced willing elected officials to save them the trouble of working and competing for their living. They took the shortest path. A scheme to use the law to take from everyone else.
And Republicans wonder why we continue to call them out when they back crap like this?
Your first instinct (for every Republican who supported it or later voted to override the governor’s veto) should be to protect your constituents from abuses of government power. We don’t expect citizen legislators to always know what that looks like. But this was a blatant crony cash grab that would have destroyed more jobs than it saved.
We expect Democrats to embrace these abuses. Republicans should know better. When they don’t, we are more than happy to remind them.