NFIB supports legislation that would promote array of affordable energy solutions.
Massachusetts Businesses Pay More for Energy
For too long, Massachusetts has been paying exorbitant
prices for energy. The Boston Globe reported last year that, according to 2014
year-end data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the cost of
electricity in Massachusetts was 39 percent higher for households and 79
percent higher for businesses than the national average. Enough is enough.
House Bill 4336 and Senate Bill 1965 are the current
vehicles for energy solutions. The legislation would diversify and expand the
power sources for Massachusetts and southern New England. The Governor’s bill
is before the Senate Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee with a
reporting date of July 1, 2016. The House version focusing on hydro and off
shore wind is before the House Ways and Means Committee.
NFIB will push for amendments to the legislation to
further clarify that the new sources of energy must be affordable and
competitively priced. The best way to achieve affordable and reliable energy in
Massachusetts is a combination of solutions, including natural gas and
renewable, greener sources like hydro power, solar power, and land-based wind
Small businesses in particular know the importance of
having access to all sources of energy in order to rein in costs. According to
NFIB’s Energy Consumption poll, energy costs account for one of the top three
expenses in 35 percent of small businesses.
Tom Erb, owner of the Electric Time Company, a clock
manufacturer, noted the impact of the state’s energy policy on his industry.
“Massachusetts manufacturers compete using high-tech,
energy-intensive machinery,” he said. “Having the second highest energy costs
in the United States, after Hawaii, discourages manufacturing in our state. We
need to have access to reasonably priced natural gas and hydro.”