11:37 a.m.: The House killed a bill this morning that would put a temporary moratorium on wind turbines and electric transmission line projects, 194-148.
Debate focused on wind energy, with a handful of speakers making a passionate case for the moratorium. Wind energy is not an efficient source of energy, they said, and more wind farms will damage the state’s tourism industry and the small towns up north that benefit from it.
“Please don’t forget our small towns, don’t forget the people who live in our small towns and don’t forget the thousands of visitors who visit New Hampshire each year,” said Rep. Herbert Vadney, a Meredith Republican.
But the majority of members ultimately agreed with the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, which recommended killing the bill. Last year the Legislature approved two laws that establish a review process for how energy projects are approved and create a commission to develop a new state energy plan. The state has a goal of using 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
The bill would have only put a moratorium on turbines until the report on current energy policies is released this fall. Members of the committee said this temporary moratorium would be ineffective and send a bad message to other businesses.
Rep. Marjorie Shepardson, a Marlborough Democrat and committee member, said the site evaluation committee, which reviews energy projects, recently ejected a wind farm in Antrim because of the adverse impacts it would have on the area. This shows the committee takes its approval process seriously, and that process will likely become more robust as a result of the current review.
“We have a strong and robust,” site evaluation procedure, said Rep. Robert Backus, a Manchester Democrat.
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