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Lowering rates: Veto bills that would increase them

May 22. 2018 11:19PM

We have praised Gov. Chris Sununu for putting forward an energy plan that focuses on ratepayers, a conspicuous departure from the priorities of the Lynch and Hassan administrations.

Sununu has a chance to follow through on that principle by vetoing a trio of bills that would do nothing but increase New Hampshire’s already high electric rates.

The three bills all have one thing in common, forcing high-priced electricity onto the grid by burning wood.

The Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin employs 27 people. To prop up those jobs, New Hampshire ratepayers will have paid $100 million in higher electric rates from 2011 to 2020.

Now the Legislature wants to extend the deal that forces Eversource to buy power from Burgess.

The Public Utilities Commission estimates another bill could result in $15 million to $20 million in above-market costs by forcing Eversource to buy more power from six biomass plants.

The state’s timber industry has convinced Concord not only that it could not survive without ratepayers paying more for power, but that those jobs are worth the lost jobs that result from artificially-inflated electric rates.

Burning wood for electricity is not economically viable. Sununu should stand up for New Hampshire ratepayers and veto the biomass bills.

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