Timber Industry, Renewable Advocates Keep Up Fight Against Energy Vetoes

Aug 31, 2018

Shelagh Connelly of Holderness-based Resource Management, Inc, shows legislators a bag of paper fiber scraps, used as fertilizer and generated from low-grade wood.
Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire timber land owners and renewable energy advocates are rallying for an override of two controversial vetoes by Governor Chris Sununu.

They hosted the latest in a series of talks with lawmakers Thursday, at one of the state’s few remaining paper mills – Monadnock Paper, in Bennington.

The advocates want legislators to revive both an expansion of the state’s net metering program, and a bailout for the biomass power industry – which turns low-grade woodchips into energy.

Local consulting forester Dennis McKenney says while low-grade wood doesn’t fetch high prices, the industry still needs markets for it, including as paper pulp and biomass energy.

“If you don’t weed your garden, you don’t have much to show at harvest time,” he said. “It’s the same way with the management of forest land.”

The veto opponents will hold a final rally outside the State House on Sept. 6, before legislators vote on overriding the vetoes on Sept. 13.