New Hampshire Loggers Hit Hard By Veto Of Biomass Subsidies

Eric Cole was at home on Poverty Lane making dinner earlier this month when his phone rang. One of his customers was calling with bad news: A new $390,000 logging skidder that Cole, a heavy equipment salesman, had just delivered would have to be returned. The customer, an Upper Valley logger whom Cole declined to […]

Eric Cole was at home on Poverty Lane making dinner earlier this month when his phone rang. One of his customers was calling with bad news: A new $390,000 logging skidder that Cole, a heavy equipment salesman, had just delivered would have to be returned.

The customer, an Upper Valley logger whom Cole declined to identify, explained that Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto the day before of a bill that would have required utilities to purchase a portion of their electricity from the state’s wood-burning power plants had dealt a blow to his business. He would no longer be able to afford the $5,000 monthly payments for the piece of machinery that grabs logs and hauls them out of the woods.

Cole, who works for New England heavy equipment distributor Milton Cat, dispatched a crew at 7 a.m. the following Monday to retrieve the skidder. It is now back on the sales lot in Londonderry, N.H. Within days, two other sales Cole had in the works with loggers to purchase heavy equipment also fell apart. “I lost about $600,000 worth of deals right off the bat,” Cole said. “The impact is huge.”

Forest industry-related businesses — loggers, chippers, shippers and equipment suppliers — say that Sununu’s veto on June 19 of Senate Bill 365 that would have required utilities to purchase electricity generated by New Hampshire’s six non-utility-owned biomass power plants will have a crippling blow on their livelihoods and express bafflement over the governor’s action.

“Chips and biomass is 60 percent of my timber business,” said Stacey Thomson, owner of Thomson Timber Trucking and Harvesting in Orford. “It directly affects us.” He had been delivering an average of about 600 tons of wood chips per week to New Hampshire biomass plants until orders nearly ground to a halt in the wake of the veto, he said. Thomson is threatening to express his unhappiness by taking punitive measures against the state.

Read more on this from Valley News at http://www.vnews.com/Wood-chip-suppliers-see-business-hurt-by-veto-of-biomass-bill-18480530?utm_source=Forest+Business+Network+email+newsletter&utm_campaign=7bbb0fdb95-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3a629cb392-7bbb0fdb95-111950185.

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