NHTOA News

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The NHTOA went 4-for-4 today, May 3, on bills passed by the N.H. House of Representatives, including:

  • * Senate Bill 365: This legislation will help the state’s biomass power plants by requiring electric utilities to purchase a portion of their power needs from the six in-state biomass power sources. Passed on a vote of 225-108.
  • * Senate Bill 446: Legislation that will increase the allowable quantity of electricity an individual or business can sell back to their utility (a.k.a. “net meter”). It will benefit the many sawmill and wood processing businesses that already or want to generate their own electricity through solar panels or biomass boilers. Passed on a voice vote.
  • * Senate Bill 577: This legislation orders the N.H. Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) to open a docket to analyze the economics of Burgess BioPower’s electricity sales contract with Eversource. The analysis will cover the impact of closing the Burgess BioPower’s Berlin biomass power plants could have upon jobs at the plant and in the forest products industry, on property tax and other financial impacts on the city of Berlin, on renewable energy resources in New Hampshire, and the impact on Eversource ratepayers. Passed 254-64.
  • * House Bill 1402: Legislation that addresses inconsistent, unreasonable, and adverse local regulations that impact forestry and logging operations. Passed on a voice vote.

All of these bills now go through a process, lasting approximately two weeks, to prepare them for the Governor's desk. Once they reach the Governor, he has 10 days to decide whether to sign, veto, or allow them to become law without his signature.

 

Thank you to all our members who contacted their senators and representatives regarding these bills. (Now's the time to thank those
legislators!)

 

The date for the NHTOA's 107th Annual Meeting is approaching fast: Saturday, May 19. If you haven't registered, now's the time to do so, and you can register online here

This year's Annual Meeting will be held at Chesterfield Central School in beautiful, historic Chesterfield, N.H., birthplace of one of New Hampshire's most illustrious citizens -- Harlan Fiske Stone, who was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during the Franklin Roosevelt era. 

The day includes the Annual Meeting, a great lunch, presentations of the Outstanding Logger, Outstanding Forest Industry, and Kendall Norcott awards, and the much-anticipated silent auction and raffle. (To donate items for the auction/raffle, please call the NHTOA office at 603/224-9699 as soon as possible.) 

The morning tours include a visit to Pisgah State Park, the second-largest state preserve in New Hampshire, to view the Park's sustainable forestry practices, including recent timber sales; and a tour of Cersosimo Lumber in nearby Brattleboro, Vt., one of northern New England's largest and most innovative sawmills. 

For more information, go to this page on the NHTOA website. 

 

 

 

From New Hampshire Public Radio: The Environmental Protection Agency says it will treat wood fuels from managed forests as carbon-neutral. It could give New Hampshire's timber industry some long-term certainty.

Charlie Niebling has worked around the Granite State's forest products industry for decades. He says scientists have never agreed on if biomass fuels, like wood chips, offset more carbon than they produce. 

Niebling thinks biomass can have a net carbon benefit if it's harvested from a well-managed forest and burned efficiently.

To read the full report from NHPR, click here

 

On Thursday, March 22, New Hampshire Public Radio's program "The Exchange," hosted by Laura Knoy, covered Current Use, which has lately been the subject of political debate in the State House. Charlie Niebling of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC was one of two guests on NHPR (the other was Rusty Keith, a Lyme, N.H., selectman), and Charlie provided excellent information about the myriad benefits to New Hampshire that land in Current Use provides.

You can listen to the podcast of the program at a link on this page.