and now… FERC!

So I’ve got an exciting piece on PSNH and their efforts at the federal level that CPD claims are intended to circumvent their responsibilities in purchasing power from small independent producers.

It’s all gray area and well worth the read. It gets pretty deep into the nuances of electricity regulation in the US, but it could wind up being rather important to Berlin.

How can a 29 megawatt plant be less than a 20 megawatt plant? When it only generates 17 megawatts. Does that make it a 17 megawatt plant? CPD says yes (sort of), PSNH says no—now let’s see what the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee says.

This was a tough piece, and just the kind I like. It took some digging, and as far as I’ve seen it hasn’t been out anywhere. Both CPD and PSNH were surprised to be talking to me about it and weren’t exactly prepared. It isn’t enough to shake any big apples loose, but it’s the sort of thing the region needs to follow. Informed voters might care about this one.

So what news matters most to you? What is there not enough coverage of? I was talking with some friends about reporting in the region, and we were trying to decide what was lacking most. I said in depth coverage of energy issues would be ideal, from a group with the skill and the knowledge to do it. From transmission issues to taxation, wind farms to biomass—all these issues are going to grow over the coming decades. The two local papers work hard, but they are also covering ice golf stories and the latest Tri-County CAP generous donation drive, with only three reporters between the two of them. What falls through the cracks?

Lots, I’d say, and I imagine most LPJ readers would agree with me. But what is the most important?

I’ve been sick for the entire week, and I’m still trying to pull out of it. I did a fair bit of my work last week, but I’ve still got a story or two to finish before I can go to bed, but I wanted to get the word out that there was something cool worth reading in this week’s paper.

I wish these stories were here every week. I don’t think they aren’t in Berlin; I think the skill to tease them out takes time to develop. I’ve been able to pull together a few of them, but it isn’t a weekly thing. Berlin needs more of this, but to get more of it it needs more reporters. That means a staff that hasn’t been with either paper for years. If there were some other way to get reporters up there to spend time digging around it’d be a gift.

Think about this—imagine you run a 24 hour convenience store, and it’s only you and a partner. Now remember, you need to be there all the time to cover anything that should happen. How do you think that would work?

Doesn’t sound like it’d work great, but that’s what the daily is working with—two reporters. My paper has one, so I’ve got all shifts. Inevitably things fall through the cracks.

With a city as dynamic as Berlin, really it needs more. It isn’t LL Bean, with tons of area to cover, but even a 7-11 requires more than two or three people to ensure the counter is covered all the time.

But the newspaper business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking, and the counter is empty more and more. It’s too bad, because when someones steals a soda, a candy bar, or even the register, it’s hard to stop when you’re alone. In fact sometimes no one even realizes it happened.

I’m ranting. Time to get back to writing for money, not pleasure. Support quality journalism—it makes you pay for your candy bar. And happy Valentine’s Day.

4 thoughts on “More PSNH, PUC, CPD

  1. What is to understand? PSNH is in bed with Laidlaw. Together (along with Danderson & Grenier) they are trying to stop the Clean Power project (who is competing with Laidlaw for the same wood supply & grid capacity). I suppose it is quite possible that Grenier and Danderson have purchased stock in Laidlaw. You could ask them but would they tell you the truth? Also, the PUC is corrupt and has ceased to be effective in controlling PSNH (the PUC is in PSNH’s back pocket). There you have it, plain and simple. Proving these statements would be difficult but the events unfolding in Berlin appear to confirm what I’ve said even without definitive proof.

  2. Great article in the Berlin Reporter Eric.

    Too bad the “Bias Daily Sun” doesn’t do a little more investigating, instead of pumping more and more of Mr. Grenier’s spin to the people of Berlin, who believe every word of Barbara’s is fact. Could she be any more in Grenier’s back pocket? Its unbelievable really. I would personally love to see more investigative reporting in this town. Keep up the good work.

  3. Eric,

    I missed your article on this issue in the Berlin Reporter. Is there any chance you could post it here at some point?

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