Jobs are Local

To the Editor:

I recently read a letter to the editor whose author stated that New Hampshire’s biomass industry isn’t worth saving. The writer is wrong. As a public servant that has held both local and state offices, I learned from my constituents about the benefits of the state’s biomass industry, which is why I support the efforts to override the Governor’s veto of HB 183.

The writer noted that several of the local plants have foreign ownership. This is not an uncommon occurrence. A recent study by professors at Plymouth State University found that subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies are a significant contributor to New Hampshire’s economy, with over 44,000 employees in our state. Today, we live in a global economy and we should have business relationships with our allies. Where they are owned doesn’t matter – where the jobs are does. Also, these plants are community-minded; for example, the Tamworth plant has contributed to a veterans’ organization, school scholarships, and nursing associations, among others.

The biomass industry provides over 900 jobs throughout the state and supports over $250 million annually in economic activity. Direct jobs in the plants and indirect jobs in the timber industry and its suppliers make the biomass industry uniquely New Hampshire, as we are the second most forested state in the country. The biomass plants not only provide renewable energy production using our abundant low-grade wood resource, but also provide a critical component of sustainable forest management.

Healthy forests are important to our environment and are also an integral part of our tourist economy. As someone who has led numerous tours with our NH Forest and Lands personnel around the State, it has become quite clear the health of a forest prevent diseases and forest fires.

A strong majority of bipartisan legislators have continued to support home-grown renewable energy production through biomass. They see the bigger picture when it comes to biomass – it’s not only about energy, but also about our forests and most importantly about local jobs. Support the override of the HB 183 veto.

Joseph Kenney

Wakefield, New Hampshire

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(1) comment

timothytegan

Great thoughts Joe Kenny. Good for you to speak out.

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