A response to ‘Don Quixote’

To the editor:

We’re writing in response to a statewide op-ed campaign by Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association, “New Hampshire Needs to Stop Tilting at Windmills.” (Editor’s note: The op-ed appeared in the April 14-27 issue of NH Business Review under the headline, “Don Quixote and energy prices.”)

Mr. Roche argues that we need more energy supply and that energy efficiency and renewable energy cannot solve problems with high electricity costs.

In fact, our wholesale electricity supply prices are at record lows and New Hampshire consumes only half of the power it produces. The pain in our electric rates comes from stranded costs, above-market Power Purchase Agreements and the highest transmission rates in the nation.

It’s no surprise that the BIA pushes pipelines, since its “energy committee” is funded in part by the American Petroleum Institute.

It defies logic why Mr. Roche quotes ISO-NE in defense of more pipelines and generation capacity. We pay the highest (twice the national average) transmission rates in the country, had a catastrophe in 2013-2014, when ISO-NE wouldn’t contract for liquid natural gas as part of the Winter Reliability Program, and we are the last regional transmission organization to implement FERC Order 1000, which would make transmission projects subject to competitive bidding.

Most companies use competitive suppliers for their energy, but they’re still saddled with outrageous demand and transmission charges. The BIA suggests their member companies have implemented every possible energy efficiency measure. Perhaps the BIA should conduct a survey of their membership to quantify that. Sen. Martha Fuller Clark has also asked for that data.

Are BIA chamber companies aware that the BIA lobbies against nearly every bill supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy and for major infrastructure projects built at ratepayer expense? They say they believe in an “all of the above” strategy, but their legislative testimony says otherwise.

This letter was signed by Patricia A. Martin of Rindge; Rep. Marge Shepardson of Marlborough; and Rep. Lee Oxenham of Plainfield.


Categories: Opinion