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Foreign Policy Analysis

Legislature overrides Sununu veto of biomass bill


MIKE: AS WMUR POLITICAL DIRECTOR
ADAM SEXTON REPORTS, THE STATE’S
TIMBER INDUSTRY IS CELEBRATING
TONIGHT. ADAM: IT WAS A CELEBRATION
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE GALLERY AFTER
STATE REPS FLIPPED THE
GOVERNOR’S VETO OF A
HOTLY-DEBATED BIOMASS ENERGY
BILL BY A ONE-VOTE MARGIN. TOM: THE “FOR SALE” SIGN WOULD
HAVE GONE UP TOMORROW IF THIS
DIDN’T COME OUT THE WAY IT DID. ADAM: TOM THOMSON AND OTHERS IN
THE FORESTRY BUSINESS WERE
LITERALLY READY TO SELL THE FARM
IF THE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF SENATE
BILL 365 WAS SUSTAINED. SUPPORTERS OF THE LEGISLATION
SPENT THE SUMMER PAINTING A DIRE
PICTURE OF LOST JOBS AND A
NEGATIVE RIPPLE EFFECT IN THE
ECONOMY IF ELECTRICITY
DISTRIBUTORS WOULD NO LONGER BE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE ENERGY FROM
SIX BIOMASS FACILITIES IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE.>>THIS IS NOT A NORTH COUNTRY
ISSUE — THIS IS AN ENTIRE STATE
ISSUE. ADAM: OPPONENTS WANTED TO STOP
SUBSIDIZING BIOMASS, CLAIMING IT
WAS A HIDDEN TAX ON ELECTRIC
RATE-PAYER
SEN. REAGAN: WE’RE GOING TO TAX
THE ELECTRICITY BILLS OF OUR CONSTITUENTS TO SUPPORT AN
UNPROFITABLE INDUSTRY. ADAM: GOVERNOR SUNUNU SAYS HIS
VETO WOULD HAVE SAVED RATEPAYERS
$25 MILLION OVER THREE YEARS
AND HE’S DISAPPOINTED THE
LEGISLATURE DIDN’T SEE THINGS
HIS WAY. SOME REPS SAY HE SHOULD HAVE
STARTED MAKING HIS CASE MUCH
EARLIER. REP. UMBERGER: THE GOVERNOR’S
OFFICE NEVER BROUGHT THEIR
CONCERNS TO THE HOUSE DURING THE
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. GOV. SUNUNU: THAT’S A COMPLETELY
RIDICULOUS STATEMENT. WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR LOW
ENERGY RATES FROM DAY ONE. WE MADE IT VERY CLEAR WHERE WE
STOOD ON 365. ADAM: FOR SOME KEY REPUBLICANS,
THIS VOTE MEANT OPPOSING
GOVERNOR CHRIS SUNUNU IN AN
ELECTION YEAR. THEY SAY IT WASN’T EASY, BUT
THERE WAS JUST TOO MUCH AT
STAKE. TOM: WHEN THE GOVERNOR IS RIGHT,
AND HE’S DONE A LOT OF THINGS
FOR THIS STATE, AND I’VE
COMPLIMENTED HIM ON THAT, BUT
WHEN HE’S WRONG, I’LL SPEAK UP,
AND HE WAS DEAD WRONG ON THIS ISSUE. ADAM: IN CONCORD, ADAM SEXTON,
WMUR N

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