To The Daily Sun,
Fast forward into our future: The previous state Legislature, prior to 2015, mandated sell-off of PSNH's nine hydroelectric plants and three fossil fuel plants and the sell-off is now (2016 or beyond) completed. As predicted by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) from their exhaustive study, this sell-off will have incurred a $435 million loss, which will be paid off by all the electricity users in the state for as long as it takes to pay off $435 million. Instead of our public utility owning the plants, the 12 plants are now in private hands. (This is mandated and it will happen.)
What are the consequences? First, we're all paying more on our electric bills. Won't that increase the cost of everything, here in New Hampshire? Won't that impact the viability of companies operating in the state and our ability to attract new companies? Who'll want to move here, bringing their talents and monetary resources with them? Will a net outflow of people and companies occur? If so, what will happen to our property values?
Next, we realize we are at the mercy of the New England regional power grid. Instead of our utility owning, as PSNH in 2015 wants to continue to do, a full diversity of New Hampshire plants — which makes New Hampshire a net positive power producer in 2015 and makes New Hampshire a full partner in the grid in 2015 — instead in this future time, our plants are now in private hands.
There is no telling what the new owners of the plants may do.
Next, we wait and see how many of 12 power plants get dismantled and sold off to China (cash rich, infrastructure poor) or elsewhere, because it was more profitable and easier for the scavenger companies, who bought them, to do so than to attempt to run them in place. (Why? Due to politically motivated, costly, new governmental regulations which intended to run the plants out of business, forcing new means of energy generation to be built for much $$$$, which, also, initially, diminished the sales value of the plants and turned them into fodder for the scavengers.)
Hard as it is to imagine, all 12 of those plants, could be dismantled and moved out of New Hampshire. It bears repeating: The profits would be large, fast and safe for the scavengers.
Eventually, the realization will set in that this was a mistake. The NE regional power grid will start pressuring us to come up with new power sources so we aren't a net drain on the system.
We'll be pressured to accept the big power lines of Northern Pass from Canada. We'll be pressured to "host" many more windmills along ridgelines, which only work when there's wind blowing. Industrial-sized solar power would consist of giant, ugly spreads across the landscape, and with our snow cover at this latitude, would be unreliable in winter. Bit by bit, the "look" of our state will transform from natural to industrial. Is this what we want for us? Will it damage our tourist industry? And, how are we, the middle class who always pays, going to pay the many billions for all this in these harder times?
Even if we were to try and build the "future power" of geothermal and/or ocean wave technology, which is, as yet, untested, that would cost many billions we do not have, with no guarantees.
Our current 12, up-to-date, proven, operating hydropower and fossil fuel plants were developed and paid for with "yesterday's" dollars over the past century. I realize there are people who want to take the power-generating dams out of the rivers to let the rivers run free, but, considering the alternatives, isn't hydropower about as environmentally "clean" as it gets?
And, thanks to the power of the universe, we in New Hampshire have the security that our rivers will continue to run and give us power, if we just use the power dams we already have. Please, let's keep them!
Over the years PSNH has routinely retrofitted their three fossil fuel plants with every sensible innovation that has come along to make their plants run cleaner and more efficiently, and those plants are running off fossil fuels sourced from the USA. Please, let's keep them.
What greater luxury and necessity is there than electrical power? Without, there is abject poverty and misery. With, we average folks have greater luxury in our daily lives than all the kings in history, prior to the advent of electricity.
Please, people of New Hampshire, contact the mass media of the state: TV, radio and newspapers, and ask them to cover this slow-moving, catastrophy-in-progress. Write letters, use all social media means possible to get the word out. Bring it up in conversation.
Look what happened with the proposed roundabouts in Meredith: it got covered, it got talked about, a well-attended meeting was held and it was cancelled. Media and people power.
Look what happened with the Belknap County government: it got covered, it got talked about, it got changed in the polling-booth. Media and people power.
Contact your current State Representatives and State Senators. Only they can stop this sell-off. They could do it in one day with a bill of repeal, but only if they fully know about it. Please help.