Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 4, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Breaking News: COFI & CFPA merge to create unified voice for BC’s forest industry

The Tree Frog Forestry News
December 4, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

CEO’s Susan Yurkovich (BC Council of Forest Industries) and Rick Jeffery (Coast Forest Products Association) announced Friday the merging of their organizations to “create a stronger, unified voice for the BC forest industry“. The change will be effective April 1, 2018 and until that time, both organizations will continue to operate independently.

In Forestry news; the BC government is seeking public input on its review of professional reliance—the practice of relying upon the decisions and advice of forest professionals; and Lake Louise (the ski resort) is in court after it cut down a stand of endangered whitebark pine trees. 

In Business news: plywood producers in Oregon applaud the imposition of US tariffs on Chinese hardwood plywood; log prices are at record highs in Washington State; and community leaders in Port Alberni BC and Camus Washington are asking how they can revive their shuttered mills.

Finally, University of Northern BC professor Thomas Tannert has been recognized for his work on Tall Wood Structures; the permits for Spokane’s CLT plant have been issued; and CLT panels are going up at Oregon State’s new forestry building.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Alberni workers plead for shuttered mill to be sold

By Skye Ryan
Chek News
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Frustration over job losses in the Alberni Valley has workers urging Western Forest Products to sell their shuttered Somass Mill to a company that will open it back up again. The mill went down on an indefinite curtailment nearly a year ago and workers are hopeless the company will ever re-open it. Stress is high in Port Alberni’s Forest Industry, where workers fear even more job losses could be on the way in the new year. …So the United Steelworkers are rallying for the re-opening of Western Forest Products shuttered Somass Mill or its sale since an interested buyer has appeared on the scene, offering hope to this community that is running sorely low on it lately. “There’s interested parties that would like to buy it and then run it,” said United Steelworkers Local 1-1937’s Norm Macleod. …The workers union is supported by Port Aberni’s Mayor and will be meeting with Western Forest Products next week.

Read More

New growth, old growth

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Alexander

It’s been a dark decade for mill closures in the Robson Valley with two big mills shuttered more than 10 years ago, but Jason Alexander of Cedar Valley Specialty Cuts has been picking up the pieces – literally. Over the years Alexander purchased equipment from three separate mills, including McBride Forest Industries, Slocan Valemount, and TRC in McBride. He’s brought it all together to create something new. Alexander makes shake blocks,cedar shingles and mulch and employs roughly six people full time. He brought his mill to Valemount in 2000 and had struggled over the years with wood supply, but since the Valemount Community Forest acquired a new license his operation has been growing.  Currently local millwright Robert Johnson is overseeing the construction of a post and rail mill which Alexander says will employ another six people. 

Read More

Oregon lawmakers, plywood producers hail U.S. tariffs on Chinese hardwood plywood

By Ed Russo
The Register-Guard
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West
 Oregon politicians and wood products executives on Friday applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission’s decision to impose tariffs on the imports of Chinese hardwood plywood. In a 4-0 vote, the ITC confirmed that the U.S. hardwood plywood industry is being harmed by unfairly subsidized Chinese imports. The ITC vote will activate tariffs on Chinese hardwood plywood imports by the Department of Commerce of 183.6 percent for antidumping and countervailing duties up to 194.9 percent. The imposing of these duties will “provide much-needed relief to Oregon mills,” Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Greg Walden, R-Ore., said in a joint news release. Oregon is the largest producer of hardwood plywood products in the United States.

Read More

Timber Industry Report

By Rich Sohn, retired forest manager
The News-Review
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Rich Sohn

The headliner this month is log prices. Logs are in short supply and log prices are way up, a new October record. While log sellers are guardedly ecstatic, one local mill operator was exasperated at being beaten in a recent auction, when the logs sold for $975 per thousand. Of course that is probably an outlier high price. In this column, we report the average monthly log price for #2 Douglas Fir logs, but this is still new territory for price. At that price, nearly 2.5 times last months stud price, margins get thinner for manufacturers. Some operators will buy a sale, at an outlier price, and average the price of those logs with their other logs, just to keep the mill running and not shut down. …Stability in pricing in the forest products industry would be a good thing to add to our Christmas lists.

Read More

Lack of political will factor in Camas mill cuts

By Ann Donnelly
The Columbian
December 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

As our region contemplates the announced closure of the Camas papermaking operations and the loss of up to 300 family-wage jobs, laid-off workers may ask if more could have been done to save their jobs. We should all be asking that question, as our communities struggle with spiking homelessness, rising housing costs, and stagnant wages. …Decades ago, Camas’ mayor and other local leaders accepted the mill closure as inevitable. What if they had identified those measures most likely to keep the mill open and doggedly pursued them? …Future success of such a plant depends on many factors beyond demand: secure supply of raw materials, taxes and other costs to produce the product there, and regulatory/political uncertainty, any combination of which may push the long-term economic outlook into negative territory.

Read More

Northeast Kingdom’s Columbia Forest Products gets relief from illegal Chinese imports

Vermont Business Magazine
December 1, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Following four years of advocacy by Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), the US International Trade Commission (ITC) today provided long overdue relief to a key employer in the Northeast Kingdom. Columbia Forest Products, which maintains a manufacturing facility in Newport, Vermont, has been struggling to compete with illegal Chinese imports. In a unanimous ruling, the ITC voted 4-0 to impose significant tariffs on dumped and subsidized imports of Chinese hardwood plywood. “Today’s decision is great news for the employees of Columbia Forest Products,” said Welch. “The company and its employees have been reeling from subsidized and illegal competition from China.  This important decision will level the playing field for the company, preserve jobs, and ensure its continued contributions to the regional economy.”

Read More

EU Markets Open Doors to Indonesian Timber

By Dames Alexander Sinaga
Jakarta Globe
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Jakarta—Indonesia will maintain its good reputation at the European Union’s timber market, which is known for its strict controls and quality requirements, a minister said on Thursday (30/11). Since November last year, when Indonesia’s timber legality verification system (SVLK) was recognized by the EU, the country has shipped to the regional bloc more than $1 billion worth of certified timber products. The legality verification system is in accordance with the EU’s strict Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan that was launched in 2003 to reduce illegal logging. “This is a milestone for Indonesia. The FLEGT licensing allows all Indonesian timber products with the SVLK [certificates] to enter the EU market,” Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya said in a statement.

Read More

Delegation meets power brokers in Canberra

Gippsland Times
December 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE dairy and timber industries, communications and opportunities for decentralisation were among issues discussed when a Gippsland delegation met with power brokers in Canberra. One Gippsland undertook a heavy schedule of meetings in Canberra with senior federal ministers, shadow ministers and advisers. …Ms Aldred said the group raised the importance of the timber industry with the office of the Environment and Energy Minister in terms of the Leadbeater’s Possum and the current review. “Gippsland’s timber industry, especially in east Gippsland is vitally important, as are manufacturing businesses like Australian Paper who rely on access to resource for their operations,” she said. One Gippsland recognises meeting digital connectivity challenges is a key priority for the region, and presented a strong focus on NBN rollout and blackspot eradication.

Read More

Forest owners say below minimum wage rates ‘unacceptable’

Voxy
December 4, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Peter Clark

The Forest Owners Association has taken a strong stand on pay rate breaches by forest planting contractors. The President, Peter Clark, says a recent Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment audit of pay rates and conditions in three forest regions has revealed what appears to be widespread non-compliance with employment law among forest planting crews. “We forest owners don’t pay the silviculture crews ourselves. That’s done by independent contractors. But our industry cannot condone exploitation of any sort. “We as a major primary industry are taking a stand on this. We don’t want to deprive good workers the opportunity to earn bonus money by planting more trees in a day. But on the other hand it is unacceptable to allow inexperienced planters, or those who have to travel long distances to new locations, to be deprived of what the law specifies as minimum pay.”

Read More

Nelson Forests set to change hands

By Katy Jones
New Zealand Stuff
December 3, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

An Australian company is set to take Nelson’s largest forestry business, Nelson Forests. OneFortyOne Plantations (OFO) has signed an agreement to acquire the company’s 60,000 hectares of pine forests across Nelson and Marlborough, and Kaituna Sawmill near Blenheim, from US-based Global Forest Partners LP. The Nelson Forests’ lead team would continue to manage the plantation, OFO Chief Executive Officer, Linda Sewell said. “Nelson Forests is recognised as being one of New Zealand’s best run forestry businesses and an established leader in safe and sustainable forest management.  “We’ll certainly be looking to build on that.” …Global Forest Partners LP had “come to the natural end of their investment cycle,” and the proposed acquisition was very positive, he said.

Read More

Forestry audit reveals ‘widespread’ breaches in employment standards

By Jo Moir and Catrin Owen
New Zealand Stuff
December 2, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Almost 90 per cent of the forestry industry is breaching employment standards and that may not even be the full extent of it, according to a Government audit of the sector. Labour inspectors from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment carried out audits of 34 forestry contractors across the North Island this year and found 20 of them didn’t comply with at least one employment standard. Data from the audit, obtained by Stuff, revealed breaches were “widespread” within the forestry industry and of even greater concern was that further breaches of minimum employment standards were “likely to be hiding” due to “poor recording”.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

University of Northern BC Professor Recognized For His Work On Tall Wood Structures

By Jeff Slack
MY PG NOW
December 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thomas Tannert

Another UNBC professor has been named a Canada Research Chair. Engineering Associate Dr. Thomas Tannert teaches a wood design program aimed to create local solutions with global impact. He says this won’t change the way he conducts his work and being named chair shows the importance of what he’s trying to do. “We are basically doing research that tries to increase the amount of wood in our structures like beyond low rise residential housing but also into commercial buildings and taller buildings.” He says creating a way we can build more tall wood structures can reduce our carbon footprint significantly because the material doesn’t produce as much Co2. There is currently a Wood Innovation Research Laboratory being constructed in downtown in Prince George, which is the first of its kind.

Read More

Permits issued for Katerra factory in Spokane Valley

By Nicholas Deshais
The Spokesman-Review
December 2, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The first permits have been issued for a Spokane Valley factory that will produce cross-laminated timber and glulam, engineered wood products that can replace concrete and steel high-rise buildings and parking garages. The factory marks the entrance of California-based Katerra into the region. The factory is planned to be 250,000 square feet and employ 150 people. Permits issued this week are for the factory’s foundation. According to permit data from the city of Spokane Valley, the total project cost is estimated to be $35 million. …The environmentally friendly products, called CLT, are made from wood scraps, which are compressed and glued together in layers, forming structural panels and beams.

Read More

CLT Panels Go Up On New Oregon State University Forestry Building

By Rachael McDonald
KLCC
December 1, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oregon State University College of Forestry is constructing its new headquarters entirely out of engineered wood products. It will the first in the U.S. to use a “rocking wall” seismic design so it can survive a major earthquake. Geoff Huntington is Director of Strategic Initiatives at OSU’s College of Forestry. Huntington: “The new Peavy Hall is going to be a demonstration project of a commercial building that is constructed with mass timber products, all of which are made within 250 miles of Corvallis.” …Huntington: “And instead of steel beams and concrete slabs, you’ll see, this building will be made of wooden glue-lam beams and CLT, cross-laminated timber panels and other laminated veneer lumber and other types of engineered wood.”

Read More

Stunning Emsworth eco-home scoops top design award

By Byron Melton
The Portsmouth News
December 4, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A STATE-OF-THE-ART village eco-home has scooped a national design award. Hidden away in a quiet street in Emsworth, Hampshire Passivhaus topped the ‘private’ category at the 2017 Wood Awards in November. The highly-respected annual ceremony in London recognises properties built from wood that encourage or promote outstanding design and craftsmanship. Architect Ruth Butler built the winning home with the help of her husband, designer Julian Sutherland, on an Emsworth brownfield site in 2015. Mrs Butler, 49, said: ‘It was a very pleasant surprise to take home the award. ‘Our home feels like a very special place to live.

Read More

Forestry

Stronger Together

Susan Yurkovich and Rick Jeffery
Coast Forest Products Association
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are pleased to advise you that the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) and the Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) have decided to come together as one organization to create a stronger, unified voice for the BC forest industry. …By coming together under the BC Council of Forest Industries, the industry will work together across regions to advocate on behalf of the forest sector, its workers and the 140 communities that depend on the forest sector through their mills, operating facilities, silviculture, and logging operations. …The organizational change will be effective April 1, 2018. Until that time, COFI and CFPA will continue to operate independently, and our members and staff will work collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition. 

Read More

Lake Louise heads to court on charge of removing endangered trees

Canadian Press in CBC News
December 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A world-renowned Alberta ski resort faces some legal moguls in a Calgary courtroom Monday over charges it cut down a stand of endangered trees. But an environmental law professor says the rarely-laid charges against Lake Louise Ski Area illustrate problems with how the Species At Risk Act is enforced. The ski resort in Banff National Park is expected to appear in court Monday to address charges laid after it came to light that in 2013, resort employees had cut down a stand of trees alongside a run that included at least 39 whitebark pine. …Resort spokesman Dan Markham acknowledges the trees were cut. Workers were conducting routine thinning of trees alongside a run to improve skier safety, he said. Markham said the workers were unaware the trees were endangered.

Read More

The Emperor’s New Cutblocks

By Mario Veldhuis and Thomas Cheney
Haida Gwaii Observer
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry on Haida Gwaii has always involved some degree of controversy and today, in spite of the land-use plan, islanders have become ever increasingly concerned. While there are considerable improvements resulting from the land-use plan, forestry harvesting operations are increasingly appearing in our backyards, our cultural, our recreational, and our non-timber harvest areas. …We are told that we have ecosystem management and that we should effectively be happy while these areas are threatened by indifferent logging practices. Extensive harvesting along the highway corridors displeases both locals and visitors alike. Clearcutting is negatively effecting viewscapes, and tenure holders appear indifferent to protecting the visual quality of the landscape. The fact of the matter is that tourism employs far more people on Haida Gwaii than logging, and the former is growing, whereas the latter through the past decade has collapsed in half.

Read More

Public views sought for professional reliance in the natural resources

By the Ministry of Environment and Climate
Government of BC
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The government of British Columbia is seeking public input into its review of the Province’s professional reliance model. “The people of B.C. are entitled to a voice in how forests, minerals, metals, petroleum, fish and other natural resources are managed,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman. “They need to have confidence that qualified professionals working within the professional reliance model are acting first and foremost to protect the public interest.” The public engagement process, which closes on Jan. 19, 2018, asks B.C. citizens about the role of qualified professionals (QPs) in the natural resource sector. … “Effective oversight and monitoring of B.C.’s vast forests and natural resources is important to the people of B.C.,” said Christine Gelowitz, registered professional forester, Association of BC Forest Professionals CEO.

Read More

Wildfire and our failure of imagination

By Dale Bosworth & Jerry Williams, retired foresters
Albuquerque Journal
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dale Bosworth

Jerry Williams

SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s not the way we fight wildfires in the West that’s the problem. The problem is the way we manage our fire-dependent forests. …What can’t be ignored is that these unprecedented wildfires tell us we need a much better land-management strategy. …We need to be exploring more imaginative approaches. Protection of human communities ultimately matters most, but sometimes we are simply unable to save homes. …Neither can managers deal with the compounding effects of climate change, deteriorating forest conditions and uncontrolled residential development at the wildland-urban interface. The West remains tethered to an unworkable protection strategy that is stalled at a dangerous impasse, while costs, losses, damages and deaths all keep mounting.

Read More

Award highlights conundrum in wildfire management

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sean Parks

What if our efforts to stop wildfires in the woods actually make them bigger? “It’s a counter-intuitive result,” said research ecologist Sean Parks. “We put out the fire, but in the long run, there are negative unintended consequences. If we’re putting out all fires under moderate weather conditions, the fire we can’t put out will burn under extreme conditions.” Parks’ work …recently earned him the 2017 Research & Development Deputy Chief’s Early Career Scientist Award. …Parks’ current work looks at how future climate changes may affect the tempo of fire seasons. He’s testing the idea that we’re likely to see more extreme fire events in the short term, but less severe fires several decades from now as the climate warms. “We think we may see the spruce-fir forests converted to something else that may be more resistant to fire, like Douglas fir and ponderosa pine,” Parks said.

Read More

US Forest Service didn’t call for pulling its land from Bears Ears, USDA nominee tells Senate Democrats

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two senior Senate Democrats want President Trump to explain why he’s poised to remove protections for U.S. Forest Service land in the Bears Ears National Monument when the agency did not recommend any such change, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture subcommittee on conservation, forestry and natural resources, made the inquiry Friday after Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture general counsel informed them that the department had not recommended the Interior Department remove any Forest Service acreage from existing national monuments.

Read More

Fire has an important role in forest management

Letter by Frank Tainter
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
December 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The guest editorial by Philip Higuera et al., in the Oct. 28 issue of the Chronicle made a strong case for the use of wildfire as a forest management tool. With the current growing awareness of global warming tied to the increasing incidence of forest fires, I would add another, albeit small, dimension to the discussion. Dwarf mistletoes are major forest pests of most of the conifer forests in western North America. As the conifer forests spread northward following recession of the Pleistocene glaciation, naturally occurring, and prehistoric human-initiated, fires certainly reduced the distribution of dwarf mistletoe infections. What might have happened in the absence of fire was readily visible in Yellowstone National Park prior to the massive fires in 1988. …Fire used as a management tool is essential to maintain clean forests to ensure quality timber production. 

Read More

Controlled burns generate a pall of smoke

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Arizona’s dry, hot autumn finally shows signs of cooling, prompting the Forest Service to unleash a series of controlled burns that have shrouded most of the region in smoke this week. The Coconino National Forest this week burned about 500 acres a day 11 miles southeast of Clints Well and five miles south of Knoll Lake, which raised a pall of smoke over the Mogollon Rim northeast of Payson. …The Forest Service has turned to an aggressive program of thinning and controlled burns during the spring and the fall in hopes of creating as many buffer zones as possible to protect against an uncontrolled, high-intensity crown fire during the hot, dry months in the unhealthy and overcrowded forests growing on millions of acres.  Early and late in the fire season, the Forest Service has increasingly tried to contain rather than quickly put out low-intensity fires to create buffer zones.

Read More

Up in smoke: Two governors see needed forestry funds going to fight increasingly intense fires

The Keene Sentinel
December 1, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Chris Sununu and Phil Scott

…according to Gov. Chris Sununu and his Vermont counterpart Phil Scott, the fact that New England states aren’t often associated with wildfires doesn’t mean we don’t have a stake in fighting them. In a recent letter to congressional leaders, the two GOP state executives urged action on two fronts concerning the U.S. Forest Service’s budget. …Sununu and Scott note all the states’ forestry agencies get funding from the U.S. Forest Service, used for fire prevention, forest management and education statewide. …Sununu and Scott want the Forest Service’s budget to be handled differently. They’re asking for massive forest fires to be treated the same as other weather-driven disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, instead of drawing money from the Forest Service’s operating budget.

Read More

Robots could soon take over dangerous forestry jobs

Radio New Zealand
December 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers from Lincoln Agritech, Scion, and several universities around the country are working to develop robots that can be trained to work alongside people in the sector, and in manufacturing. The $2 million project will take place over the next two years. …He said they would provide enormous benefits to the primary sector, especially in dangerous industries such as forestry. “We have so many hazardous working conditions. In forestry for example, felling trees, pruning trees in very steep and harsh environments, it is a very risky work area and in the future we need to support that work with robots that can adjust to the different situations in the forest,” he said.

Read More

Forest gumption: How scientists are tapping everything from drones to pruning shears to stem global warming

By Daniel Grossman
Christian Science Monitor
December 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Andy Marshall

Andy Marshall, a biologist, yanks on the steering wheel of a battered Nissan station wagon and swings it off a track in the Kilombero Valley of southern Tanzania. …The biologist – a researcher on the staffs of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the University of York in England – and three Tanzanian villagers slog a short distance through dirt clods and stubble toward a tall leafy wall of deep green: the Magombera Forest. Cradled at the base of the Udzungwa Mountains, the Magombera is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in Africa.  …Marshall wants to patch Magombera’s wounds.  … If only he can cure this small woodland’s ills, Marshall says, his method might then revive millions more acres of unhealthy forest around the world – and perhaps make a significant contribution to slowing global warming

Read More

‘Preposterous’: Rainforest damage goes unpunished after EPA fails to act

By Peter Hannam
Sydney Morning Herald
December 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Claims by the environmental watchdog it had insufficient evidence to prosecute state-owned Forestry Corporation NSW for damaging endangered rainforest have been rejected as “totally preposterous” by the activist who identified hundreds of alleged breaches. The Environment Protection Authority had two years to investigate and take legal action for the damage in the Cherry Tree State Forest, north-west of Grafton, before a statute of limitations kicked in. It waited until last week – a fortnight before time ran out – to tell Dailan Pugh, spokesman for the North East Forest Alliance, it could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the corporation had been responsible for harvesting and bulldozing roads through lowland rainforest, an endangered ecological community. 

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Combatting climate change with pellets in New Brunswick

By Gord Murray, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Canadian Biomass
December 1, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

In December 2016, the government of New Brunswick released its Climate Action Plan, Transitioning to a Low-carbon Economy. …New Brunswick’s wood pellet sector is well positioned to help the government meet its climate commitments, to improve the provincial economy, and to create more jobs, but needs participation from government and government-owned NB Power to make this happen. …Presently, New Brunswick has four wood pellet plants producing about 190,000 tonnes annually. …New Brunswick’s producers have had some success in developing a wood pellet heating market within the province. A limited number of public institutions – schools, hospitals, and churches – have installed wood pellet boilers for heating. …New Brunswick’s wood pellet industry is well-positioned to play its part, but needs the support and engagement of GNB and NB Power to make this happen.

Read More

Electricity landscape: Eversource customers on the hook in biomass deal

By Michael Cousineau
New Hampshire Union Leader
December 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

CONCORD – Eversource customers are footing the bill for the company to pay $100 million over-market rate to buy energy from a Berlin biomass plant by 2020. But a spokeswoman for the plant’s manager said the 4-year-old Burgess BioPower plant provides more economic benefits than the cost of over-market rates. The power deal was part of a jobs vs. electricity cost debate played out early this decade when many state policy leaders backed the deal to help the North Country economy. “People made essentially a policy choice of trading ratepayer benefits against broader economic interests,” said Donald Kreis, the state’s consumer advocate. …”There’s a balancing act, no question about that,” Bradley said last week. “Rates are high in New Hampshire, and I think we have to be cognizant of that.”

Read More