It’s not solar that gets the subsidy

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to the opinion piece by Bill O’Brien and Greg Moore, “Hey solar industry, why the subsidy?”

Let’s get this straight. There was NO subsidy for the solar industry in Senate Bill 446. SB 446 would benefit cities, towns, school districts and businesses who want to generate the bulk of their own electricity. 

Vetoing SB 446 does NOT mean that the utilities don’t have to buy that generation; they just get to pay less for it to the detriment of the towns, schools and businesses that made the capital investment. In other words, businesses and local property tax payers are the ones who would benefit from SB 446 and the net metering payments would make such project investments more beneficial.

If we’re going to talk about subsidies, why not discuss the 2.5 cents/KWH in Forward Capacity Payments that are tacked on to the wholesale price for every kWh sold in New England? That 2.5 cents goes primarily to natural gas, coal and oil-fired plants as an “insurance” payment to guarantee that they will provide power when called upon three years in the future. Sounds like a subsidy that nearly doubles wholesale electricity prices to me!

Why should anyone listen to Bill O’Brien, who drove New Hampshire’s mental health services into a ditch and resulted in lawsuits against the state? We may never be able to recover from that fiasco. 

Why should working people listen to Greg Moore, who is relentless in pushing Right to Work (for less!) legislation year after year? New Hampshire has a big problem providing a skilled workforce at any wage. Why would we make it even harder to attract workers to the state?

Thanks to Bill O’Brien’s push to cut RGGI funding to 20 percent of what should be going into energy-efficiency programs, we have 10,000 low-income homes on a waiting list for weatherization. If RGGI funding had been left in place, those homes would be insulated by now and needing less fuel assistance.

                                                                                                           Patricia Martin


Categories: Letters to the Editor