In a recent article, Sen. Odell, justifying his vote against the energy moratorium, stated that the government should not be in charge of “picking winners and losers in the production of renewable energy.” Sen. Odell, the government has put itself in that position many times. Gov. Lynch was part of a big celebration when Northern Pass was announced ballyhooing the perceived benefits of industrial hydro-electricity coming through New Hampshire.
The federal government has handed out millions subsidizing wind energy projects, underwriting their construction costs and guaranteeing profits for the corporations even if they never produce a kilowatt of electricity. It is absolutely the responsibility of our state legislators to decide if an energy project is ultimately beneficial or harmful. A moratorium would have provided the time and facts to make good decisions.
Sen. Odell lamented that the state will not meet its 25 percent renewable energy goal if we eliminate renewable energy projects before they are built.
Maybe the senator is unaware that the electricity and renewable energy credits (RCIs) produced at the Coos Wind project go to Vermont and the electricity and RCIs generated at the Groton Wind project go to Massachusetts. Either New Hampshire has already met its renewable energy goal and can afford to ship these precious energy credits out of state or we have no intention of ever meeting this goal.
Sen. Odell reported that 500 new permanent jobs would be created in Franklin if Northern Pass is completed. Even Northern Pass never made such an outrageous claim. Only five permanent jobs would be created while many other jobs have already been lost or are in jeopardy in the tourism dependent and second home areas of the state. Real estate sales have plummeted in the Newfound Lake area because of the three wind projects slated for that area and the Northern Pass project has had a chilling effect on home sales in the Campton/Thornton area already.
Sen. Odell may feel proud the energy moratorium was squashed perhaps because he feels these projects won’t affect the Monadnock area.
If he had taken the time to read testimony that was turned in at the public hearing and looked at the ISO New England 2030 study, he would have noticed a 10,000 megawatt transmission line slated for the southern part of the state where his constituents live. Maybe if he looks at these maps he will have a little more sympathy for his fellow NH citizens around Newfound Lake, along the Northern Pass route, and the environmental lobbyist who is concerned for the beauty of the state.