On Monday, July 16, at the Pinetree-Tamworth biomass energy plant, Sen. Jeb Bradley, one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of Senate bills 365 and 446, urged landowners, loggers, sawmill operators, and all others associated with the forest management industry to write and call their state legislators to vote to override Gov. Sununu's misguided and misinformed vetoes of the two bills.

Pinetree-Tamworth is one of six independent biomass energy plants in New Hampshire, and it is scheduled to wind down operations in a week as a result of the vetoes. Three other biomass plants have already closed.

If the vetoes are not overriden by the N.H. House and Senate, when they vote on the vetoes in September, hundreds and jobs and millions of dollars of economic contribution to the N.H. economy will be lost. Moreover, the bills promote sustainable forest management, wildlife habitat improvement, and outdoor recreation opportunities on private land -- all of these will be lost, too, if the vetoes aren't overturned. 

SB 365 supports the six independent biomass (wood chip) power plants. It sets up a power contract with Eversource for three years to ensure the plants operate so the Governor's study commission (established in last year's budget) can do its work to find a long-term solution. 
SB 446 seeks to eliminate some of the barriers individuals and businesses that generate power on-site face when selling the excess power back to the grid (a.k.a. "net metering"). A number of N.H. sawmills and other wood/forest products manufacturers are doing this and looking to expand their ability to do this with biomass boilers, small hydroelectric, and solar panels.
Together, the two pieces of legislation are crucial to New Hampshire forestland owners and thousands of forest-related businesses (consulting foresters, logging contractors, sawmills, etc.) as they support the state's biomass power industry and forest/wood processors. Without that support, the long-term future of sustainable forest management in the Granite State is very much in doubt.  


"Call your representatives, and then call them again and again," urged Sen. Bradley at Pinetree-Tamworth. He said that because both bills passed the Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic that the Sununu vetoes can be overturned. "But it won't happen without you," he said. "Every legislator needs to hear from you and everyone you know." 

Go to the NHTOA Facebook page to see more photos from the event at Pinetree-Tamworth. Also click here to watch a brief news report on the event broadcast on WMUR-TV.