NH Democrats take aim at governor over biomass policy

WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Democrats in New Hampshire are criticizing fallout from vetoed biomass legislation by Governor Chris Sununu, and he's pushing back.

Two biomass plants in Springfield and Whitefield recently announced they were closing and laying off workers. It's the result of a veto by Sununu which subsidized the state's biomass industry. A similar bipartisan bill was also vetoed last year. Lawmakers overrode that but the bill got tied up in the courts.

Democrats say Sununu's decision to veto the legislation benefits special interests and hurts jobs, the economy, and the environment.

"It's the market that provides the income, that allows people to sustain their forestry practices. Lots of people will lose the ability to continue if they don't have this low-grade wood market," said Rep. Lee Oxenham, D-Plainfield.

State officials say rapid response teams went to both biomass plants within days of the closure announcements and offered job training programs and leads on nearby employment.

The governor's office released a statement saying, "Governor Sununu will not apologize for standing up for low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes who would have seen their electric bills skyrocket if this legislation passed, putting ratepayers on the hook for $60 million over three years."