Simple Tweak In The Law Will Increase Energy Diversity

As you may know, for the past five years I have been an intervenor before the NH Public Utilities Commission in it’s deliberations concerning the expansion of natural gas as an energy source in New Hampshire.

energy diversification

One important fact that has come out of these deliberations is that New Hampshire law precludes natural gas companies from expanding into other energy sources, such as wind, solar or hydro. This fact makes it impossible for gas companies to consider transitioning off fossil fuels to renewable fuels that are less harmful to our environment, because it would mean putting themselves out of business.

Many people agree with me that diversifying our energy sources makes us less vulnerable to price spikes and shortages caused by global events beyond our control.

Obviously the issue is much more complicated than that, but I am suggesting a change in current legislation that could help. Simply put, an amendment to RSA 378:37 would allow energy companies who deal strictly in fossil fuels to produce electricity – and make a profit – using renewable sources.

The suggested text is highlighted in bold:

378:37 New Hampshire Energy Policy. – The general court declares that it shall be the energy policy of this state to meet the energy needs of the citizens and businesses of the state at the lowest reasonable cost while providing for the reliability and diversity of energy sources; to maximize the use of cost effective energy efficiency and other demand side resources; and to protect the safety and health of the citizens, the physical environment of the state, and the future supplies of resources, with consideration of the financial stability of the state’s utilities.  To meet this policy, the commission may permit, approve and otherwise authorize utility investment in, use and deployment of such energy sources as the commission deems consistent with the policy and the utility’s resource management capabilities on such terms and conditions as the Commission deems just and reasonable, without requiring the utility to obtain such authority as may be required under Chapter 374 or otherwise; in the event of conflict with any other commission regulations, under the general regulations of Chapter 374 or otherwise, this provision of this statute shall control.

I ask that our county legislators consider introducing this amendment for consideration during the upcoming legislative session.

With regards,

Terry M. Clark

County Commissioner

14 Barrett Ave.

Keene, NH 03431

603-661-8347

I am running for re-election

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My name is Terry Clark and I am running for re-election as county commissioner representing Keene, Marlborough and Roxbury.

Two years ago, I promised to work on regionalization of county/town concerns because I believe we can most efficiently address regional issues as a team. Since then, we have faced the ambulance crisis and formed the Cheshire Emergency Medical Services Department that will launch in mid-November.

Also, the County has long been a proponent of energy efficiency – completing upgrade projects that have already saved 500kw of energy per year. In addition to that, I am a director of The Community Power Coalition of NH that will bring lower-than-utility cost energy into the county with a Community Power Program that will allow towns and their residents to share in those savings.

I hope to continue expanding regional cooperation between county towns to bridge the silos that duplicate efforts and tax dollars, better utilized by sharing information and resources. The County has the statutory authority to act as an arbiter between towns and regional interests and should be utilized wherever possible to achieve common regional goals at lower costs than can be realized by individual towns.

The short answer is that we will work to provide a superior service to taxpayers at a lower price.

My top priorities for the next term are to:

Maintain a professional working atmosphere at County facilities that will help employees succeed at their jobs, and attract future employees to maintain nursing, correctional and other staff levels in this very competitive market;

Utilize our Grants Department to find alternative funding for projects, and use managerial strategies that will keep a high level of services to the taxpayer at the lowest possible cost. Just one example is our recent effort to fund the sheriff’s $2.9 million communications equipment upgrade almost entirely without taxpayer funds;

Successfully role out the Cheshire Community Power Plan, saving money on electricity for County facilities, County towns and their residents. This plan is being integrated with our ongoing energy conservation and modernization projects.

I would appreciate your vote for another term as your county commissioner on November 8th.