Major Business and City Leaders Oppose Move To Get PSNH To Sell Power Plants

Mar 26, 2012

A house bill that would consider giving the Public Utilities Commission authority to force PSNH to sell its power plants to open up market competition is getting vocal opposition from business leaders and mayors in the state.

Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier says the move will raise electric rates and scare businesses away from his community.

"PSNH has a good system now that serves our residents well.  Why would the legislature want to endanger jobs and tax revenue and risk higher rates over this legislation? " asked Grenier.

Berlin is home to one of PSNH's plants. Grenier says PSNH pays the most property taxes in Berlin and if the company were forced to sell its plant--Berlin could lose needed revenue.

Republican Representative Tom Keane of Bow says the PSNH coal plant in Bow is the town's biggest employer and pays $3 million in property taxes each year.

"A government forced sale of that plant in the current economic environment would create a number of negative consequences to not only rate payers but to local tax payers," says Keane. "This would create a significant rise in our property taxes."

Supporters of the bill say state residents should have a more diversified range of energy options available to them in a volatile market.

The full house is scheduled to vote on the bill on Wednesday.