Back in 2018, I attempted to testify at a NH Senate hearing regarding the state’s wood energy industry.
Whereas most of the speakers before me talked about the value of renewable energy; the large number of jobs involved; the benefits the woodchip market provided to forest management programs, I decided to focus on the importance of having a local source of alternative energy. I started my testimony by saying that our economy is still heavily dependent on oil and that war in the still unstable Middle East could easily disrupt that supply causing the price of energy to rise, but at that point, the Chairman stopped my testimony by saying that “it was not germane to the discussion” and would not let me continue.
Both the Senate and the Legislature eventually supported the bill to protect the wood energy industry in New Hampshire, but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu. As a result, the wood energy industry and all of its benefits have just about disappeared. What has not disappeared is our country’s dependence on oil and the subsequent steep rise in prices that always appear when the world’s oil supply is even slightly disrupted. Although wood energy cannot totally replace oil, it can help reduce the amount of oil and natural gas needed to generate electricity locally. Gov. Sununu should reconsider his opinion of wood energy, especially when it was his father who helped create that industry after the Iranian oil crisis in 1979. Remember that?