In his veto message, the Governor said SB 365 would cost roughly $25 million dollars annually for 3 years. By vetoing the bill, he claimed it would protect “our most vulnerable ratepayers”. He also said SB 365 would not even support continued biomass plant operations because it would only provide a “mere 3.5%” of maximum impact to the plant’s revenue stream. According to the NH Timberland Owners Association, those statements are incorrect. The veto message ignores the electric cost increases to ratepayers from the need to replace the lost biomass power.
The Governor’s veto is creating devastating impacts to the $1.4 billion timber industry – already leading to cancelled equipment orders, business closures, job losses, less energy generation in NH, and the collapse of a statewide forest management system which benefits all Granite Staters. SB 365 promotes and supports forest management. 2/3 of all the timber growing in New Hampshire is “low grade” (unable to produce lumber). As industry experts say, what this industry does is “weed the forest” to ensure good habitat for wildlife, sustainable growth and natural resources that draw visitors and support tourism throughout New Hampshire. This is a $1.4 billion-dollar industry in New Hampshire that is being threatened with this veto.
Mr. Stock indicated that many landowners have contacted him stating their frustration with the veto, promising to cut off the use of their private lands to the Trails Bureau and Fish and Game Department for program implementation. Stacey Thomson of Orford, owner of Thomson Timber Trucking and Harvesting has gone on record saying, “Unless the governor figures something out, I’m going to close my land down to all snowmobiling, fishing, and hunting.”
This veto affects not only biomass plants and their employees, but also the accessibility of privately owned lands for the recreational uses that the members of the NH Wildlife Federation strive to protect. If this veto is not overturned, there is a potential that many parcels of private land utilized by the Trails Bureau and the Fish and Game Department may be redacted and closed off from recreational use.
To contact your legislator to voice your support for a veto override of SB 365, please follow these steps:
- Go to the NH General Court website.
- Click on the Resources link her or provided in the right-hand column titled “Contact your State Representative” or “Contact your State Senator”.
- Under both tabs, you will be given the opportunity to find your Representative or Senator via the town, city, or municipality where you live.
- Remember when speaking with your legislator to indicate who you represent and why the override of the veto of SB 365 is important to your needs.