To The Daily Sun,
Wouldn't you agree that our electrical power generation is a major part of the bedrock of our modern society?
We've all experienced power outages. Do you enjoy having no power? Wrapping up in blankets with a candle may be fun for an hour but, really, power outages are a serious mess for everyone, each time they occur.
So, wouldn't it make sense, if our public utility company, PSNH, has nine hydroelectric power plants and three fossil fuel plants, all sited, designed, built and paid for over the past century, and has kept them updated with the latest improvements, as they've become available, and PSNH wants to keep them in service for their source diversity and because they feel the plants are "an insurance policy against price spikes," shouldn't they be left alone and allowed to do their job, keeping their power flowing to us? This is so important that it bears repeating: PSNH believes these 12 plants will help to protect New Hampshire citizens against price spikes.
With all the decades of PSNH's experience, providing us with power, shouldn't we give them the benefit of the doubt that they know something about power generation, distribution and costs? Aren't they in the best position to have continuously studied whether their power plants are cost effectively producing power, and whether that will continue to be the case?
Well, it may be PSNH knows more about the subject than the individual legislators who ran the state Legislature in the previous session, but those legislators had the power to pass a bill to force the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to force PSNH to sell off all 12 of those plants as soon as possible, and they did passed that very bill. The legislators' supposed rationale at the time was that if PSNH kept running those plants, they would eventually have to charge people higher rates.
Isn't the cost of almost everything going up, continuously? And even as the rates creep upward, and the world becomes an ever crazier place, don't you take some comfort in the fact that we in New Hampshire have 12 diversely-sited and diversely-fueled power plants on our own soil, owned by PSNH? And just maybe those nine hydroelectric plants, being a "green" source of power, cost a little more to run than other power plants (or maybe not), but every time there's a power outage, I'm happy to remember the water keeps perpetually running over those river dams, and as soon as the power lines are again intact, that power, generated by flowing water will once again surge through our lines. And, as a consumer, I see those plants as our home-grown insurance, and they're paid for and they're doing their jobs.
And, as for the three fossil fuel plants, I really believe I remember reading that they are fueled by United States-sourced fuel. I think there's one oil, one coal and one gas. Isn't it smart to have diversity to keep down price spikes during these shifting times?
But while those previous legislators' supposed rationale was that this sell-off would eventually save us money, the immediate sell-off their legislation requires will immediately produce a $435 million loss (Reference: Laconia Daily Sun, Associated Press (AP) article, Saturday, January 17, 2015, page 15), which will fall to all New Hampshire electricity consumers to pay off — now. Maybe those legislators didn't realize their actions would create a $435 million immediate loss. (Maybe they thought it would generate a profit). If so, all the more reason to reverse that legislation
Further, I'm fully aware that our power is part of the grid that comes from all across New England. But then, I am reminded by the recent big blizzard, that there are times we, in New Hampshire, may become cut off from power generated in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Vermont, due to storm damage to the lines coming in from those other states. In this last storm Massachusetts and Connecticut took the big hit. Our power generation from our 12 plants continued to flow out to all of us, here, in New Hampshire. And, it would also continue to flow out to anywhere else in the New England grid where the power lines remained intact.
Remember, years ago, the big "brown-outs" that spread out from big metropolitan centers and how people, way out in other states, far from the source of the power problems, suddenly lost power. We need our plants and we need our legislators to know we want that previous legislation reversed — now.
Please help. Contact all our New Hampshire state representatives and senators. And get the word out to people you know to spread the word to all our media: newspapers, TV and radio, that this is a big issue and we want to see more coverage of it.
- Category: Letters
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