Library filed under Energy Policy from New Hampshire
The chief sponsor of HB 580 said he and his fellow lawmakers on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee chose to "retain" the bill because the legislation wasn't prepared well enough to withstand a debate on the House floor. ...Reilly said he is confident HB 580 will be brought before the full House for a vote.
While wind opponents were frustrated today, the committee's vote sets the stage for an omnibus bill to come forward next session to reform how the Site Evaluation Committee makes its decisions ...In the meantime the lawmakers have sent a letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, which decides whether to approve new energy projects, asking them to update and rewrite the rules on wind farm permitting, to make the process more comprehensive.
HB 580, sponsored by Rep. Harold "Skip" Reilly Sr., R-Grafton County District 8, and co-sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Forrester, R-Belknap District 2 calls for a moratorium on commercial wind projects until the state issues a new comprehensive energy plan. "I am not exaggerating, I received more than 1,000 emails in the past few days from people in favor of the moratorium," Reilly said. "I think, since I sponsored the bill, I've had six or eight people write to me who are opposed to it."
If the proposed reduction in the RGGI cap goes through, that price would probably rise again. This won't be welcomed by RGGI opponents, who describe the program as a hidden tax that raises electricity rates but accomplishes little. ...PSNH has been a vocal opponent of RGGI, which it says contributes to an increase in its rates.
You'd think Sierra Club would know all too well that sustainable means more than just non-fossil fuels; it means workable, realistic and supporting local community over big global corporations. Apparently Sierra Club forgot about that part of the concept of renewable energy development; that sustainable means community supported and community supporting.
"The NLRA believes that the state should enact a moratorium on all pending and proposed commercial wind projects until a comprehensive energy plan can be prepared to guide state energy policy toward a more carbon-free, cost-effective, locally produced, and high-efficiency energy environment which does not sacrifice the quality of life that supports our economy."
The underlying issue in New England is that gas pipeline capacity is inadequate to keep prices steady in times of high home heating demand, said Vamsi Chadalavada, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ISO New England. ISO is leading a study focused mainly on reliability, but reliability is intertwined with price, he said.
"Recently we have seen a number of proposals for new energy facilities, specifically wind farms and transmission lines, that will have an important and lasting impact on our state," Arnold said. Arnold said the Legislature should act quickly on a bill giving the SEC a broad range of authority in considering proposed facilities.
Sustainability is not, or should not be, a political issue. Real conservatives recognize the need to husband resources and live within their means. Real progressives understand the cannibalizing of nature can only lead to "death by a thousand cuts." These truths are relevant to the current gold rush by energy corporations to cover New Hampshire's landscape with long-distance, high-voltage power lines and wind farms.
Grant Bosse, the editor of New Hampshire Watchdog, said the move by RGGI has little to do with lowering carbon emissions. He said the economic collapse and slow recovery meant fewer emissions, fewer producers purchasing permits, which meant a loss of projected revenue for the nine states. "This has everything to do with revenues and nothing to do with the environment. This is driven by a desire for more state revenue."
Luce said Northeast states are being sought out by wind-power developers looking to capitalize on old and inadequate renewable energy standards. "These are simplistic standards that are grossly slanted toward large, stealth wind-power projects like the ones proposed here," said Luce, who was the guest speaker of New Hampshire Wind Watch at Newfound Memorial High School.
State Rep. David Borden, D-New Castle, said key among them will be working to formulate a new 10-year energy plan for New Hampshire. Also on the committee's horizon are bills to revamp the state's involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, establishing a moratorium on wind turbines, strengthening the state's renewable energy portfolio standards and banning ethanol in gasoline.
"When they came up with the energy plan, they were dealing mostly with natural gas and other forms of alternative energy," he said. "It's time now to re-evaluate where we are going and come up with a comprehensive energy plan." The bill is in response to proposed wind-power projects in the Newfound Lake/Mount Cardigan area.
The groups contend that alternative energy sources could eventually make the nuclear energy supplied by Seabrook Station unnecessary. ...When it dismissed the groups in March, the NRC indicated alternative energy technology must be viable today "or in the near future" in order for consideration.
A rival energy group to Northern Pass said yesterday that its new study shows the hydropower project is no longer economically viable because natural gas is increasingly becoming a cheaper alternative.
With so much partisan sniping in modern politics, it's heartening to find an issue where Republicans and Democrats in the New Hampshire Legislature agree. They don't think your electric rates are high enough.
A federal order issued last fall is intended to make it easier to construct transmission lines, costly and controversial projects that are notoriously tough to build.
Bradley's amendment would require the first dollar from RGGI auctions to go toward energy efficiency projects and the rest to ratepayers; allows the state to pull out if one other New England state does; and revamps the manner in which projects are awarded.
The amendment would give some of the money generated by carbon auctions back to ratepayers, and the remainder would go to energy efficiency programs run by the state's utilities. Currently, all RGGI proceeds go into an energy efficiency fund run by the PUC.
Hydro Quebec, NStar and Northeast Utilities are working on the Northern Pass project with the Patrick administration's support. Project organizers say the new line could provide another 1,200 megawatts of hydro electricity, enough to power nearly a million houses. The project is still in early engineering and study phases, with the goal of wrapping up in 2015, the Northern Pass website says.