CONCORD — After almost 40 people lost their jobs at two wood-burning power plants this week, state Sen. Dan Feltes filed a bill that would provide funds to help them find new careers.
The two plants, in Whitefield and Springfield, stopped buying wood in April. The plants are closing in part because a bill to support them did not survive the last legislative session.
In August, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill that would have required electric utilities to buy power from New Hampshire’s six biomass power plants. The bill had been passed with support from both Republican and Democratic legislators, but there were not enough votes to override Sununu’s veto. A similar law passed in 2018 over Sununu’s veto, but a lawsuit stopped its implementation.
Some business leaders say the bill and its subsides would hurt New Hampshire businesses by unnecessarily raising energy costs.
The bill would have delivered three years of subsidies for New Hampshire’s six wood-burning plants — but without those subsidies, the future of the plants is in doubt.
“We are disappointed that this important jobs and forestry solution was turned into a political control battle,” Edward Kent, president of the company that owns the Whitefield and Springfield plants, said in a statement.