New Hampshire to scrutinize municipalities that attempt to shift to renewable energy

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The review will look at whether municipalities have the authority to “take any action that restricts or prohibits the types or fuel sources of energy production which may be used, delivered, converted, or supplied to customers.” Several communities, including Concord and Portsmouth, have set “net-zero” carbon reduction goals that include a shift to reliance on renewable energies.

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

New Hampshire cities and towns will face increased scrutiny from the state as they shift to renewable energy sources, under a GOP-backed plan signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu.

The new law requires the state Department of Energy to conduct a review of the legal authority of local governments to restrict the use of natural gas and other fuels used for energy in homes and buildings as they look to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The review will look at whether municipalities have the authority to “take any action that restricts or prohibits or has the effect of restricting or prohibiting the types or fuel sources of energy production which may be used, delivered, converted, or supplied to customers.”

The legislation signed by Sununu is a watered down version of the original bill, which sought to prevent local governments from pursuing policies such as bans on new natural gas hook-ups to meet carbon reduction goals.

Several communities, including Concord and Portsmouth, have set so-called “net-zero” carbon reduction goals that include a shift to reliance on wind, solar and other renewable energies. So far, none have banned fossil fuels.

The new law comes as state utility regulators weigh new rules for “community power agreements” that are aimed at helping reduce municipal energy costs.

Last week, the state Public Utilities Commission delayed consideration of new regulations for the plans, which will give cities and towns the authority to purchase their own power to help lower skyrocketing energy costs.

Republican lawmakers who backed the plans said they were concerned about the impact of any local bans on fossil fuels that could drive up costs for energy consumers. Democrats opposed the move, arguing that it would block local efforts to reduce emissions scientists say are contributing to a warming planet.

As inflation reaches a 40-year high, energy companies around the country are warning that consumers will see significantly higher electric bills this summer. Ongoing supply chain issues and Russia’s war in Ukraine have disrupted global energy markets, driving prices for natural gas higher.

Overall, the average American home saw its electric bill jump 4% in February compared to a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The state Energy Department has until next July to complete a report on its review on local energy restrictions.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/David Monniaux and Public domain
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3 thoughts on “New Hampshire to scrutinize municipalities that attempt to shift to renewable energy

  1. The last thing you want to do is put energy policy in the hands of those who have never in their lives run an energy grid. A prime example of this is Germany, whose government acceded to the demands of a petulant teenage Scandinavian, now they will freeze this coming winter. It is possible that several thousand or 10’s of thousands will die. Will they admit their mistake and move on? Will they just keep killing their own citizens or maybe the German citizens will revolt as many others are.

    • Exactly yirgach, OR as in the case of Sri Lanka: Putting your AG in the hands of the
      Enviro-Mentals that know little about what it takes to actually grow the crops necessary to feed a population to keep them alive!

      I just read that 86 people in high level positions in Biden’s administration have never even held real jobs before.. Book Smart and Real World Smart are not the same things at all..
      as the Germans are learning- as so many others.
      (I remind you all of the lady that was tending the bar not long ago, AOC, she now thinks she’s smart enough to run the planet.. I had no idea that this knowledge could be learned in a few years of bartending.
      Why on earth are people electing these dummies?

  2. It is not a good idea to put our eggs all in one basket..
    Are we not learning this lesson today?

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