New Hampshire’s Biomass mess is winding down. The Legislature refused to override the governor’s veto on a timber-industry sop. And federal Regulators declared the original law whose veto was overridden invalid. Ratepayers should be cheering.
The bipartisan effort to screw them has been foiled.
And the appeal to the State Supreme Court case is, at this point moot. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling trumps the legislature’s right to force companies to buy wood power at an inflated rate.
Federal law gives the authority to Federal officials. I can’t believe I’m saying this but thank God.
What’s good for the Wood
For the record, there is no consensus on the value of wood-fired power plants to the environment, forest management, or the timber industry.
- Environmental groups don’t believe wood energy is clean or green.
- Biomass energy is not the only endgame for the “product.”
- New Hampshire’s economy has not suffered during the idling or shutdown of these power plants.
- We’re leaving at least 100 million dollars in the state economy for more productive purposes.
- The Legislature’s next money-saving step should be to dump the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Nearly ten years of rumors have not put an end to the use of biomass as a recognized renewable energy source. But environmental groups keep pushing for that. And it is one of the rare points on which we agree.
It was also a crutch. Another expensive mandate, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, drives up electricity prices by forcing providers to pay more for “green” energy – which means employers and ratepayers eat that. That loss of resources costs jobs, wages, and economic growth. It needs to go away.
And don’t take this the wrong way but despite the failure of an illegal bailout strategy, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is still 2.5 percent. We continue to add to the state labor force and employ more workers. All, without a crony bailout of a single segment of one sector of the economy whose support would cost taxpayers and every other job creator.
And Jeanne Shaheen’s decade-old promise that she’d help make New Hampshire the nation’s biomass mecca is in tatters.