Wood Biomass Subsidies

To the Editor:

Former Executive Councilor Joe Kenney recently attempted to defend the state subsidized wood biomass industry. It fell short.

“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.” Kenney said.

Strangely, Kenney never even talked about the wood biomass subsidies themselves which are costing New Hampshire ratepayers millions of dollars a year in the form of higher electric bills. Some manufacturers have actually left and are considering leaving the Granite State because of high energy prices, he never talked about this either.

In September, the legislature will have an important override vote on vetoed legislation, H.B. 183, which will effectively end these $20 million dollars a year subsidies that have gone on, year after year, with no discernible direction or state strategy except to continue to subsidize the wood biomass industry. This is wrong.

“This bill picks winners and losers in a competitive energy market.” said Gov. Chris Sununu as a reason why he vetoed the legislation. The governor is right. Subsidies are all about preference and unbalance and especially so in a state where there are competitive market alternatives available like liquefied natural gas which wouldn’t require the subsidies of wood biomass.

Steven J. Connolly

Bethlehem, New Hampshire

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