Rep. Jason Osborne: Costly Democrat energy policies leave NH cold

AS NEW HAMPSHIRE faces higher energy prices, Democrats have been desperate to pass the blame to anyone but themselves. What is clear is that they have no idea how our electric grid works. Either that or they are lying to obfuscate their responsibility for increasing costs for Granite Staters.

For New England states that have restructured their electricity markets, there are components of the electric bill that the state can regulate and parts it can’t. There are delivery charges that represent the cost of bringing electricity to a customer’s home. This includes the “poles and wires” distribution costs, and they are carefully regulated by the state. For these costs, New Hampshire utilities have some of the lowest rates in New England, rates significantly lower than our neighbors in Massachusetts.

The other larger portion of the bill is for energy supply charges, which are the costs to purchase electricity that a customer consumes. This electricity is purchased from a regional, competitive marketplace and prices are not subject to our state’s control. These prices are impacted by regional, national, and global economic factors and it is in these costs where we see our large price increases.

So why does it cost so much to purchase electricity?

Global factors such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the international push to prioritize policies of environmental activists over economic considerations have contributed to major price spikes. But Democrats in Washington also deserve to take responsibility for this crisis.

The Biden administration’s inflationary spending, horrible management, and Green New Deal have greatly exacerbated our energy woes. They have thrown away American energy independence, ensuring that our domestic resources cannot produce enough energy to meet demand. Our supply chains are broken, inflation is out of control, and the Biden administration continues, pedal to the metal, making our problems worse nationally and here at home in New Hampshire.

Democrats in New Hampshire have not behaved much better. Over the last five years, Democrats in the Legislature have pushed every energy subsidy, mandate, and tax they could — all to enrich energy developers and support their climate activist base. Their goal is to make New Hampshire’s energy policy emulate that of Massachusetts. If not for Gov. Chris Sununu and Republicans in the Legislature standing up for ratepayers, New Hampshire could have been on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of increased energy costs on top of what we are seeing today.

Gov. Sununu said no to bill after bill that would have raised rates, and Republicans sustained his vetoes. We eliminated the electricity consumption tax, reined in wasteful spending, and streamlined energy policy. The Republican approach to renewable energy has been supportive but financially sustainable: we are removing barriers, encouraging innovation, and promoting energy freedom.

What we have not done and will not do is give extravagant handouts to energy developers that stick everyday Granite Staters with the bill.

Don’t take my word for it, ask National Grid customers in Massachusetts if we should follow their model. National Grid’s basic service ratepayers recently learned that they will be paying a staggering 47 cents per kwh, approximately 40% more than what New Hampshire Unitil customers will be charged starting in December. It is truly terrible what Democrats have done to our energy costs, but at least we have Republicans in Concord defending us from becoming like our neighbors to the south.

Until Republicans take back the presidency and Congress, there is only so much New Hampshire can do to insulate itself from the horrible economic decision-making happening in Washington. New Hampshire Republicans are doing our part to help Granite Staters in need. In mid-September, New Hampshire Republicans led the charge to pass an historic energy assistance program that allocates $42 million of budget surplus to help low- and moderate-income households with energy bills. We can provide this funding due to fiscally responsible budgeting and effective management of state government, leading to our sizable budget surplus.

If you are interested in lower electric rates, responsible energy policy, and fiscal sanity, vote for Republicans this November.

House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) represents Rockingham District 4.

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