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Environmental Activists Take The Hill Meeting With Members Of Congress

Members met with select Senators and members of Congress as well as having a presence in the halls throughout the day urging them to deny FERC a quorum until reforms are made.

Stephanie Scherr, Director of ECHO Action NH, represented New Hampshire as a part of a national delegation taking action in the halls of the Senate on July 20th. 

New Hampshire’s Congresswomen Anne Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter will be visited by members of the delegation. Ms. Scherr met with Tony Hobbs, Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter’s environmental staffer, to discuss FERC reform, concerns about gas expansion in New Hampshire and the potential for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.

Washington D.C. – On July 20, 2017, over a dozen activists representing a national coalition of affected community and environmental organizations harmed by the decision making process of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), walked the halls of the U.S. Senate buildings in protest of an upcoming vote that would restore a quorum at the powerful agency.  President Trump has nominated Neil Chatterjee, former energy policy advisor to Mitch McConnell , Robert Powelson, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners,  and announced the nomination of Kevin McIntyre from the law firm of Jones Day known to represent pro-fossil fuel interests, to the FERC commission.  The intent to nominate Richard Glick, currently serving on Senator Cantwell’s staff, has also been announced but not advanced.  Protestors are urging Senators to delay a vote to appoint any new commissioners, and thereby restore a decision making quorum, until congress held hearings into the agencies abuses of power and law and installed needed reforms.

Those involved in the protest walked the halls throughout the day with signs having a range of different messages opposing the abuses by FERC and against the quorum, as well as low singing of the song “We Shall Overcome”. As protestors marched the Senate halls from 11 to 3 with their signs, other members of the coalition were meeting with targeted Senate staff urging the hearings and specific needed reforms. The coalition also delivered a letter to targeted members of Congress signed by 104 organizations representing communities from across the nation, outlining the legislative reforms of FERC and the Natural Gas Act that are needed to prevent FERC’s ongoing abuse. 

“FERC is an out of control agency with no real checks or balances on its power – the congressional power of the purse is elusive for FERC, the ability of a President, if willing, to remove a Commissioner is extremely difficult, and the courts have repeatedly take a pass on checking FERC’s multiple abuses of its authority and applicable laws.  Congress needs to hold hearing to understand the full breadth of depth of FERC’s abuses, to understand how communities, small businesses, farmers and state governments are being harmed and then put in place real reforms, not the recent window dressing fixes we have seen proposed.  The only way to prevent the ongoing abuses until reforms are installed is to deny FERC its quorum in the meanwhile,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, head of the regional Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a leader in the national anti-pipeline coalition.

“Here in Pennsylvania, we are familiar with Trump’s FERC nominee, Robert Powelson. Even people who’d never heard of him before, learned about him a few weeks ago when he said that citizens protecting their communities from pipeline projects were “engaged in jihad,” said Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth. “It is an affront to anyone concerned with the devastation going on in our state’s shale fields and in the communities scarred by pipelines that someone who is so rabidly pro-fossil fuels and so contemptuous of the people he is in public life to represent has been nominated to serve on a Commission that is already notorious for its abuses of power. The Senate has the opportunity to stop FERC’s dangerous tradition of approving every pipeline it meets and it starts by rejecting nominees who will make a bad situation worse,” said Karen Feridun from Berks Gas Truth.

“People are increasingly seeing the damage that FERC’s failure to regulate pipelines is causing to local communities and the climate,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Green America. “After 40 years of FERC failing the American people, it is time that Congress took action to rein in FERC’s abuses and create a regulator that serves the country, not the fossil fuel industry.”

“New Hampshire responded to FERC’s voracious appetite for power by calling abuses in to their landowner helpline. Concerned residents reported everything from photos of a shed labeled a compressor station and open houses held during blizzards to incomplete reports with thousands of “to be determined” labels, routes abruptly changed and segmentation used to justify pipeline overbuild,” said Stephanie Scherr, Director of ECHO Action. “FERC employees chastised citizens and denied the existence of noisy, toxic, off-gassing blowdowns. There is no recourse for citizens, communities and even legislators, to fend off the abuses of a rogue agency with an appointed commission and no apparent accountability to the people or for their irresponsible decisions enhancing climate change. The Senate can begin much needed FERC reform by taking away the rubber stamp and not confirming nominees.”

“FERC is a rogue agency. They’re captured by the oil and gas industry and dedicated to an “all of the above” energy policy that will cook the planet and bulldoze our communities” said Drew Hudson, founder of 198 Methods. “Returning them to operation is like powering up the Death Star and giving the keys to the Empire. No Senator, and especially no Democrat, who cares to claim about the climate or the goals of the Paris climate accords should vote to restore their quorum.”

“To call FERC a regulatory agency is a travesty. A company proving that they have customers should not nearly automatically guarantee approval. What we need is a true regulatory structure  – an agency that looks at project impact to public health and safety, impacts of eminent domain on landowners, impact of environmental effects in the vicinity of pipeline infrastructure, including compressor and metering stations, and the impacts of each project to climate – not in a vacuum, but cumulatively – taking total GHG output over project lifetime. This critical juncture is the time to seize the opportunity to stop, recalibrate and restructure,” said Rosemary Wessel, Founder & Program Director of No Fracked Gas in Mass.

To undertake decision making, including approval of pipelines and other infrastructure, FERC requires a minimum of three of five Commissioners be in power. Powelson and Chatterjee have received approval from the Senate Committee to advance with a 20-3 vote and are currently awaiting a full Senate vote on their nominations. If accepted, then FERC will have it’s necessary three sitting commissioners to hold a quorum and vote on the multiple proposed pipeline projects that have been put on hold since February. 

New Hampshire Delegation Strongly Opposes Governor Sununu’s Decision Not to Join U.S. Climate Alliance

Delegation writes to Sununu to express support for
New Hampshire joining U.S. Climate Alliance

(Washington, DC) – Today, New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation wrote to Governor Chris Sununu to express their support for New Hampshire joining the United States Climate Alliance. The Alliance, which has grown to include 12 states, governed by both Republicans and Democrats, is committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. In the letter, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) highlighted the importance of striving to meet the ideals of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of both the environment and economy in New Hampshire. Yesterday, Governor Sununu said that New Hampshire would not join the U.S. Climate Alliance.

“Governor, we write in support of New Hampshire joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. It is vital that the Granite State continues to be a leader on climate change and clean energy,” wrote the members. “Just as the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord cedes American global leadership, New Hampshire’s refusal to acknowledge the clear consensus on climate science will similarly damage our state’s reputation.”

The members continued, “New Hampshire can strengthen its commitment to combatting climate change by joining the United States Climate Alliance, which Republican and Democratic governors from 12 states – including Massachusetts and Vermont – have already joined.  We believe that Granite Staters would be best-served if New Hampshire joins this coalition and upholds the standards of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of our environment, our economy, and our future.”

The states that have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance include California, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Minnesota, and Delaware.

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

June 7, 2017

Dear Governor Sununu:

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will begin the withdrawal process from the Paris Climate Accord, a historic agreement signed by 195 countries to undertake the important effort of combatting the dangerous effects of climate change. This reckless decision threatens America’s credibility abroad and puts us on the wrong side of history as the Granite State, the nation, and the world continue to experience the negative impact of a changing climate. Yesterday, we learned that you followed President Trump’s example when you declined to join the United States Climate Alliance – a new coalition of states that are committed to upholding the standards of the Paris agreement. Governor, we write in support of New Hampshire joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. It is vital that the Granite State continues to be a leader on climate change and clean energy.

Just as the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord cedes American global leadership, New Hampshire’s refusal to acknowledge the clear consensus on climate science will similarly damage our state’s reputation. In your statement on why you would not commit the Granite State to the principles of the Paris accord, you said that you did not know what the impact would be on our environment or economy and that it was not your job to know. We respectfully disagree and believe it is all of our responsibilities to safeguard New Hampshire’s natural resources and prepare our economy for the future. Furthermore, our state’s colleges and universities are blessed with some of the top scientists and economists in the country who agree that climate change is real and has a real economic impact on New Hampshire.

We are proud that New Hampshire is already a national leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollutants through participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  By placing a regional cap on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can emit through the issuance of tradeable allowances, RGGI’s market-based approach has improved energy efficiency efforts in the Granite State, invested in clean and renewable energy and reduced power sector carbon pollutants by more than 45 percent in all of the partnering states.

The negative impacts of climate change are already being experienced in New Hampshire. From last year’s extreme drought that hurt our agriculture sector to rising sea levels and heightened smog levels, climate change is a threat to our local communities, our families and our economy.  President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord puts America at a competitive disadvantage with foreign nations who are committed to transitioning to a clean energy economy and undermines our collective ability to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

New Hampshire can strengthen its commitment to combatting climate change by joining the United States Climate Alliance, which Republican and Democratic governors from 12 states – including Massachusetts and Vermont – have already joined.  We believe that Granite Staters would be best-served if New Hampshire joins this coalition and upholds the standards of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of our environment, our economy, and our future.

Sincerely,

 

Leo W Gerard: Workers Want A Green Economy, Not A Black Environment

The BlueGreen Alliance

To justify withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord, President Trump said during his press conference yesterday, “I was elected to represent the city of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

From terrible experience, Pittsburghers know about pollution.

Before Pittsburgh’s renaissance, the streetlights Downtown frequently glowed at noon to illuminate sidewalks through the darkness of smoke and soot belched from mills. White collar office workers changed grimy shirts midday. To the west 130 miles, the polluted Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned – several times.

Pollution sickened and killed. It triggered asthma and aggravated emphysema. In Donora, just south of Pittsburgh, an air inversion in 1948 trapped smog in the Monongahela River valley.  Poisonous steel mill and zinc plant emissions mixed with fog and formed a yellow earth-bound cloud so dense that driving was impossible. Within days, 20 people were dead. Within a month, another 50 of the town’s 14,000 residents succumbed.

Some viewed pollution as a blessing, a harbinger of jobs. Air that tasted of sulfur signified paychecks. For most, though, pollution was a curse. It meant scrubbing the grime off stoops daily. It meant children wheezing and gasping for air. It meant early death.

The preventable deaths are why my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), has fought against pollution for decades, long before scientists conclusively linked it to global climate change. That connection made combatting pollution even more urgent. It crystalized our obligation to save the planet for posterity. Signing the Paris Climate Accord last year committed the United States to preserving what we all share, the water and the air, for our children and their children. Donald Trump’s withdrawal from that agreement moves the United States, and the world, back in time to rivers so toxic they burn and air so noxious it poisons. Trump’s retreat makes America deadly again.

Don’t get me wrong. The USW supports job creation. But the union believes clean air pays; clear water provides work. Engineers design smokestack scrubbers, skilled mechanics construct them and still other workers install them. Additional workers install insulation and solar panels. Untold thousands labor to make the steel and other parts for wind turbine blades, towers and nacelles, fabricate the structures and erect them. Withdrawing from the Paris Accord diminishes these jobs and dispatches the innovators and manufacturers of clean technologies overseas where countries that continue to participate in the climate change agreement will nurture and grow them.

Eleven years ago, the USW joined with the Sierra Cub to form the BlueGreen Alliance because USW members believe Americans deserve both a clean environment and good jobs. The USW believes Americans must have both. Or, in the end, they will have neither.

The Alliance, which now includes more than a dozen unions and environmental groups, has collaborated with industry leaders to find solutions to climate change in ways that create high -quality jobs.

It’s an easy sell to many corporate leaders. Shortly after the election last fall, hundreds of companies and investors, including the likes of Nike and Starbucks, signed a letter asking Trump to abandon his campaign rhetoric about withdrawing from the Paris Accord.

In April, more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including giants Google, BP and Shell, also wrote Trump urging against reneging on nation’s climate commitment. They said that because the agreement requires action by all countries, it reduces the risk of competitive imbalances for U.S. companies that comply with environmental regulations.

More recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Trump that disavowing the accord would injure U.S. business, the economy and the environment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Trump that if he turned his back on the accord, Musk would resign from two White House advisory boards.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, also urged Trump to keep the United States’ commitments under the 195-nation pact, rather than joining Syria as an outlier. Syria and Nicaragua are the only non-signatory countries, but Nicaragua declined to sign because its leaders felt the accord was not strong enough.

The streetlights never switch on at noon in Pittsburgh anymore. The Cuyahoga River now supports fish that live only in clean water. Donora’s sole reminder of those dark days in October of 1948 is a Smog Museum.

But the United States remains the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas polluter. It has an obligation to lead the world in combating climate change. Great leaders don’t shirk responsibility.

People’s Climate Rally Planned For Concord April 29th

Donald Trump (Jamelle Bouie FLIKR)

Donald Trump (Jamelle Bouie FLIKR)

April 29th marks 100 days of the Trump administration

Remarks to be given by Senators Shaheen and Hassan

CONCORD, NH – Saturday, April 29, marks the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, and climate activists will challenge reversals to climate protections on federal and state levels. Volunteers from across New Hampshire and neighboring states will gather on Saturday morning in front of the State House in Concord on April 29 at 9 a.m. until 12p.m.

Demonstrating the importance of climate protections, the rally will highlight health impacts, local and national climate trends, Native American stories, and, student leader voices, as well as policy experts. Activities include hand drumming, creating kid-friendly posters, contacting decision makers, creating local teams, and waving signs. Vendors from non-profits will have free information and other items. Family friendly. Dogs on leashes, please. Open and free to the public. Please register here: http://sc.org/pcm

The People’s Climate March is a global movement to give opportunities for people to demonstrate their concerns for the future of our planet. A large rally is scheduled for Washington, DC on the same day. Other NH sister rally locations: Keene, and Portsmouth. Details and information about the global movement and local marches can be found at www.peoplesclimate.org. 

Sponsors for the People’s Climate Rally in Concord include NH Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists; Conservation Law Foundation; League of Conservation Voters; Mom’s Clean Air Force; ECO Action; NH Plastic Pollution Alliance; United Church of Christ, NH Conference, Environmental Stewardship Mission Group; Indivisible NH – Citizens in Action for Democracy; Sutton Conservation Commission, Kearsarge Changing Climate Change, 350NH and more are expected. 

WHAT:  People’s Climate Rally

WHO:   Speakers Confirmed:

  • Andru Volinski, NH Executive Councilor, District 2
  • Sterling Chase, Native American Advocate
  • Jorgie Ingram, Kearsarge Changing Climate Change
  • Jerry Curran, NH Sierra Club
  • Rebecca Whitley, Moms Clean Air Force
  • Others to be Announced
  • Speakers Invited: NH Congressional Delegation

WHEN:  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017                                                                            

WHERE:  In front of the New Hampshire State House, Main Street, Concord     

OTHER:   Photo and interview opportunities with volunteers and staff.


 The Sierra Club’s members and supporters are over 2 million of your friends and neighbors across the country, with 12,000 in New Hampshire. Inspired by nature, we work to protect our communities and the planet. The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

Senator Hassan Highlights Cuts To EPA At NH Based ReVision Energy

At ReVision Energy, Senator Hassan Highlights Harmful Impact of President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts on New Hampshire’s Renewable Energy Industry

Senator Hassan speaking with employees at ReVision Energy in Brentwood.

BRENTWOOD – Today, building on her efforts to create a more innovative and affordable clean energy future for New Hampshire’s people and businesses, Senator Maggie Hassan visited ReVision Energy, a solar energy company that is helping to create jobs and reduce New Hampshire’s carbon footprint while cutting energy costs for consumers.

The Senator toured the facility, met with employees, and emphasized how President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal programs that promote local renewable energy efforts would hurt New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy.

“ReVision Energy is helping to protect our environment while creating jobs and building a more innovative and affordable clean energy future for our people and businesses in the Granite State,” Senator Hassan said.  “Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget undermines the important work of businesses like ReVision Energy, drastically cutting research programs at the EPA and the Department of Energy that focus on promoting energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint. I will continue to fight against these reckless cuts and work to achieve a cleaner environment and stronger energy future that will help our citizens, businesses, and economy thrive.”

ReVision Energy is working to build a cleaner, more innovative energy future in New Hampshire by leading the way in solar design, installation, and service for homes, businesses, municipal buildings, and nonprofits throughout the state and region. ReVision Energy is also a partner in the community-led effort, Energize 360, which encourages residents to measure, reduce, and renew energy use.

Senator Hassan has been a vocal opponent of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the EPA. Senator Hassan joined Senator Shaheen and others in sending a letter to the President expressing extreme concern over the cuts and the threat they pose to the EPA’s ability to protect public health and ensure that citizens have clean air and clean water.

Climate Change Thought Leaders Gather at Alnoba to Discuss Renewable Energy

Kensington, NH,   – Alnoba, the premier destination for Retreats, Leadership, and Wellness, is hosting a panel discussion entitled “New England’s Energy Future: The Opportunities and Challenges of Renewable Energy Technologies” on Wednesday, April 12 from 5:3-7 p.m. It will be held in the Great Room at Alnoba, located at 24 Cottage Road, Kensington, NH.
Attendees will learn about New Hampshire’s powerful solar resource, the technology advancements that make it practical to harvest that sunshine, and to learn about the integration of renewable energy with electric appliances that enable consumers to replace oil, gas and propane with zero emissions clean technology, while having the investment paid for through fuel savings.

The expert panel will include:

  • Dr. Cameron Wake, UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space & Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute
  • Phil Coupe, Co-Founder, ReVision Energy
  • Joe Harrison, Director of Clean Energy Finance at Community Development Finance Authority
  • Bradley Campbell, President of the Conservation Law Foundation
  • Dr. Clay Mitchell, Lecturer at UNH Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, Community and Environmental Planning, and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability
  • With Moderator Charles Forcey, Senior Software Architect at Advanced Energy Economy 

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with light refreshments and networking, followed by brief presentations, a panel discussion and question and answer session.

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Sign up on Event Brite at https://AlnobaClimateChangePanel.Eventbrite.com or call 603-418-7409. 

This topic is very near and dear to us so we are happy to host these thought leaders,” explained Jan Byrnes, Director of Social Mission and Conservation at Lewis Family Foundation North. The Lewis Family has long been involved in conservation, sustainability and preservation. “Alnoba, designed by master architect Matthew O’Malia at GO Logic in Belfast, ME, was built with restored New England timber frames and is the first mixed use building to achieve Passive House standard in the Northeast. In addition, sustainability is integral with the design and operation of the buildings, property and programs at The Farm at Eastman’s Corner. In addition to LED and solar-sourced energy from solar panels, there are electric car charging stations around the property. We are working toward a net zero energy goal.” 

“Climate change is now a risk we ignore at our peril. Not only does the burning of fossil fuels result in the emission of heat-trapping gases that drive our changing climate, but every year New Hampshire exports approximately $4 billion from the local economy to import fossil fuels from away,” said Dr. Wake. “The good news is that renewable energy technology now makes it possible for individuals and organizations to cost-effectively reduce the use of fossil fuels and recycle more energy dollars in our state and region,” he added. 

According to ReVision Energy’s Coupe, solar electricity costs have plunged 75% and complementary technologies like heat pumps, batteries and electric vehicles have progressed to the point where people can transition to clean energy while deriving an excellent economic and environmental return on investment. The presentations will discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with this transition to clean energy. 

Attendees will get the opportunity to tour the facility and enjoy light bites from by The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, which is the exclusive caterer for Alnoba.

For more information about this and future Alnoba events, please contact Julie Cook at 603-418-7409 or email her at jcook@alnoba.org

About Alnoba

Alnoba was built by the Lewis Family Foundation (LFF) North with the goal of creating a special place for the community, organizations and families to gather, share, learn and be inspired to change people’s lives and save the earth we share. At Alnoba, individuals, groups and organizations come to continue their lifelong journey of learning and transformation. It is a place where we connect with our higher selves and each other to create a way of being in the world that is sustainable, nourishing and bold. Alnoba is located in Kensington, NH, convenient to Boston, Concord, NH, and Portland, ME. It is available for meetings, retreats, and special events. When you hold your meeting or event at Alnoba, you support conservation, community and the development of future leaders. For more information, visit www.alnoba.org.

Shaheen, Hassan Join 30 Senators to Introduce Bill to Rescind President’s Anti-Climate Executive Order

**The Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act highlights potential threats that Trump’s executive action poses to the economy and environment** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined more than 30 U.S. Senators today to introduce legislation to rescind President Trump’s Executive Order that reverses several landmark U.S. initiatives to combat climate change.   

The bill, titled the Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act, would block federal agencies from implementing the actions outlined in the Executive Order signed Tuesday by President Trump. These actions include reevaluating the Clean Power Plan, which is currently on track to provide $54 billion in climate and health benefits each year, prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks in children, reduce electricity bills for homes and businesses, and create thousands of good-paying jobs. 

Yesterday, Senators Shaheen and Hassan released the following statements on President Trump’s Executive Order:

“President Trump is ignoring the mountain of evidence on climate change and plowing ahead with a dangerous agenda that threatens the health and well-being of New Hampshire,” said Shaheen. “Rolling back carbon emissions rules and clean energy initiatives is a shortsighted political move that prioritizes the interests of big oil and coal companies over every day Americans. In New Hampshire, we see the effects of climate change every day and it is a direct threat to our environment, economy and way of life. We owe it to future generations to build on the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

“From our White Mountains to our beautiful Seacoast, New Hampshire’s beautiful natural resources define us as a state and I am extremely concerned by President Trump’s efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan’s common-sense environmental protections,” said Senator Hassan. “Granite Staters know that protecting our environment while building a stronger, more affordable energy future is critical for our families and our businesses. New Hampshire has been a leader in efforts to cut carbon emissions, conserve our natural resources, and combat climate change and we need to see similar efforts at the federal level. That’s why I have been a strong supporter of the Clean Power Plan, and I will continue fighting for a cleaner environment and stronger renewable energy future that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and helps our citizens, businesses, and economy thrive.” 

A copy of the bill is available HERE.

NH Congressional Leaders And Environmental Groups Speak Out Against Trump’s ‘Anti-Climate’ Order

Yesterday, President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt are issued an executive order to destroy public health protections, in various arenas, aimed at reducing climate harming emissions and impacts from fossil fueled energy and industry. The Trump Administration’s ‘dirty energy’ executive order will target the Clean Air Act and roll back essential public health protections.

President Trump directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “rewrite” the lifesaving Clean Power Plan, moved to stop the government from litigating on climate related cases, repealed four Obama-era policies that combat climate change, and manufactured an interagency working group to “reconsider” the social cost of carbon, an estimate of the damage caused by climate change.

After signing the order Trump received harsh criticism from legislators and environmental groups.

“President Trump is ignoring the mountain of evidence on climate change and plowing ahead with a dangerous agenda that threatens the health and well-being of New Hampshire,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “Rolling back carbon emissions rules and clean energy initiatives is a shortsighted political move that prioritizes the interests of big oil and coal companies over every day Americans. In New Hampshire, we see the effects of climate change every day and it is a direct threat to our environment, economy and way of life. We owe it to future generations to build on the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. I will fight President Trump’s actions in the Senate and have joined several of my colleagues in introducing legislation to rescind the President’s Executive Order.”

As one of nine Northeastern states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), New Hampshire has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector by nearly 50 percent since 2008. New Hampshire is on track to meet the Clean Power Plan’s carbon reduction goals 10 years ahead of schedule. RGGI was the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

recently released report by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, estimates that the Seacoast will experience sea-level rise due to climate change of between a half-foot and two feet by 2050. By 2100, the report estimates sea-level rise of one-and-a-half feet to over 6 feet.

“From our White Mountains to our beautiful Seacoast, New Hampshire’s beautiful natural resources define us as a state and I am extremely concerned by President Trump’s efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan’s common-sense environmental protections,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. “Granite Staters know that protecting our environment while building a stronger, more affordable energy future is critical for our families and our businesses. New Hampshire has been a leader in efforts to cut carbon emissions, conserve our natural resources, and combat climate change and we need to see similar efforts at the federal level. That’s why I have been a strong supporter of the Clean Power Plan, and I will continue fighting for a cleaner environment and stronger renewable energy future that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and helps our citizens, businesses, and economy thrive.”

“The decision by President Trump to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is disappointing but not surprising,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster.  “It’s a move that not only undermines our ability to fight climate change but also puts the United States at an economic disadvantage as we cede the technologies of the future to other nations. This executive order will endanger the Paris Climate Agreement which was instrumental in getting some of the world’s largest polluters to take important steps to reduce their carbon emissions. New Hampshire has been a leader in addressing greenhouse gas emissions through our participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It’s long past time the rest of the nation followed the lead of New England. If we fail to act on climate change we’re only kicking the can down the road. We should be acting now to end climate change, not leaving future generations to clean up our mess.”

“The threat of catastrophic climate change is very real, and today’s short-sighted actions from the Trump administration leave us less prepared than ever to confront it. I will fight to restore these protections,” stated Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. 

President Trump’s executive order represents a serious attack on our environment and public health, aimed at nothing less than gutting the Clean Air Act and letting polluters off the hook.

“Today’s executive orders to protect polluters, signed by President Trump at EPA headquarters, are an unprecedented attack on clean air safeguards,” said Rebecca Whitley of Moms Clean Air Force. Our children will bear the costs. Our families will bear the costs. Our communities will bear the costs. Never has a president, or an EPA head, acted with such reckless disregard for our health—or our safety in the face of the clear and present danger of climate change. Trump and EPA head Pruitt are doing the bidding of the biggest polluters.”

“The executive order includes a laundry list of climate rollbacks but one thing is certain there will be wide ranging devastating impacts because delaying implementation of clean energy alternatives will expose the most vulnerable to dangerous pollution: our children, elders, and wildlife,” stated Catherine Corkery of the NH Sierra Club.

“Climate protections are based on scientific analysis and included a rigorous democratic public process – of which many in New Hampshire participated. The Trump/Pruitt orders are not aimed at helping the American Public; rather, it is a handout to the billionaire fossil fuel executives, companies, and lobbyists. People in New Hampshire want solutions, not more unsafe, expensive, dangerous waste dumps, polluted water, or air pollution,” Corkery added.

“Calling climate change a ‘hoax’ won’t stop temperatures or sea level from rising. We can tackle the climate crisis by investing in science and clean, renewable energy, but only if we move boldly and quickly. Defunding science, undercutting clean energy, and doubling down on fossil fuels is sheer reckless folly,” said Madeline Page, outreach director for Environment New Hampshire in a statement posted earlier on the NH Labor News.

Environment New Hampshire Says Trump’s New EPA Policy Is “Reckless,” Calls On Governor To Take Action

“Calling climate change a ‘hoax’ won’t stop temperatures or sea level from rising. We can tackle the climate crisis by investing in science and clean, renewable energy, but only if we move boldly and quickly. Defunding science, undercutting clean energy, and doubling down on fossil fuels is sheer reckless folly.”
Madeline Page, outreach director, Environment New Hampshire.

President Trump speaks before signing Executive Order undoing climate change regulations. Video here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump signed an executive order rolling back climate progress. The executive order instructs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite the Clean Power Plan, the single largest step the U.S. has taken to limit climate change. The order also lifts the moratorium on federal coal leasing and limits on methane from fracking operations. The administration also initiated a process to reconsider the Social Cost of Carbon and the National Environmental Policy Act guidance on climate pollution. Madeline Page, outreach director, Environment New Hampshire issued the following statement:

“Calling climate change a ‘hoax’ won’t stop temperatures or sea level from rising. We can tackle the climate crisis by investing in science and clean, renewable energy, but only if we move boldly and quickly. Defunding science, undercutting clean energy, and doubling down on fossil fuels is sheer reckless folly.

“2016 was the hottest year on record, beating 2015 which was the hottest year before that.  The climate and clean air safeguards that President Trump is proposing to block would increase pollution and threaten our health and the planet. If fully implemented, the Clean Power Plan alone would have reduced our power plant emissions 32% by 2030 with huge health and environmental benefits for granite staters. 

“Instead of accelerating this progress, the administration is proposing to endanger our health and threaten our children’s future. Blocking the Clean Power plan will lead to 3,600 additional premature deaths, 90,000 more asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 more missed work and school days by 2030.

“Millions of Americans have called for strong climate action, submitting more than 8 million comments asking the EPA to take action to cut carbon pollution from power plants. More than 600,000 of these comments came from Environment America’s members and supporters.

“More than 1100 health professionals sent a letter urging the President to support the Clean Power Plan, to limit carbon pollution, phase out drilling and mining on public lands, increase electric vehicles and set higher fuel economy standards for cars. 

“We need to stop President Trump’s rollbacks of our environmental protections that will make us more dependent on dirty fossil fuels. Today’s actions by the administration threaten our health, our environment, and our treasured places. 

“Despite the President’s dangerous and backwards energy agenda, the fact is the clean energy revolution can’t be stopped. Clean energy solutions like solar, wind and efficiency will reduce carbon pollution and clean up our air, protect our health including reducing asthma attacks, and promote energy independence. 

“At a time when the federal government is stalling progress, we are calling on Governor Sununu to keep leading the charge on and double the strength of America’s most successful regional climate and clean energy program. New Hampshire is one of nine in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative which has helped cut power plant pollution in half and invested more than $2.5 billion in clean energy over the last decade. We need Governor Sununu to act swiftly and boldly to double the strength of this successful climate program.”  

Sounding the Alarm for the Harbinger of Spring: Maple Syrup

Senator Hassan Sierra Club Breakfast 2-21-17

Nearly 150 Attend Breakfast to Hear
US Senator Hassan and Experts on Local Climate Impacts  
 

DURHAM, NH – Maple syrup is a New Hampshire institution, but climate change could have tragic impacts on the future harvest.

Nearly150 concerned Granite Staters attended Local Climate Impacts Pancake Breakfast: Maple Syrup and Forests Impacts on Tuesday, February 21st at UNH in Durham.

While everyone loves to pour maple syrup on pancakes, experts discussed the changes and interruptions to the traditions, landscapes, industries and even the science behind the sweetest harbinger of spring. The potential impact could have devastating ripple effects on the Granite State tourism economy, the cottage industry on farms and sugar bushes throughout the state, and the forests overall. 

US Senator Maggie Hassan spoke in recognition of the climate trends and in support of climate action: 

“Our natural resources define us as a state and are critical to our economy, our environment, and our way of life in New Hampshire,” Senator Hassan said. “We are already seeing the real impacts of climate change on our environment – including on our maple syrup and ski industries. The Climate Change Impact Breakfast is an important opportunity to raise awareness about how a changing climate is negatively impacting the Granite State, and I commend everyone in attendance for your commitment to protecting our environment and our state. In the Senate, I’m committed to building on your efforts by working across the aisle to achieve a cleaner environment and a stronger energy future that will help our citizens, businesses, and economy thrive.” 

Local maple syrup producers also spoke in recognition of the unpredictability of a once predictable season.

Ray LaRoche, the owner and operator of Maple Meadow/LaRoche Farm in Durham, has observed highly variable weather trends over time that present challenges to maple sugar production.   

“The cycle of cold temperatures at night and warmer temperatures during the day that are best for maple sugar production are less predictable than in years past. Warming temperatures have lowered the sugar content of maple syrup, and that means more sap is needed to make the product,” stated Mr. LaRoche. “It used to take 25 gallons of sap to make a gallon of pure maple syrup, and now it takes 50 gallons. Producers need to adapt to these changes with new farming techniques, particularly in the southern regions of our state.” 

Jeff Moore, owner of Windswept Farms in Loudon serves on the board of the NH Maple Producers Association, spoke about the strong economic engine that maple production provides to the rural areas of the state; as well as, the regional bottling and packaging operations located in the state.

“The maple sugaring industry in New Hampshire is an important part of our identity, culture, and economy, employing nearly 1,000 people in our state and accounting for more than $150 million in economic activity each year,” Mr. Moore added. “We need to take care of our environment to make sure that the maple sugaring industry continues to flourish.” 

Cameron Wake, Ph.D., Research Professor, Climatology and Glaciology, the Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability, UNH Sustainability Institute, spoke about the climate trends as recorded by the institution.

“The warming trend we are witnessing is much more apparent in the winter,” stated Dr. Wake. “While warmer winters seem appealing to some, there are a number of consequences in the environment and in day-to-day life, some of which can already be seen in New Hampshire. Consequently, there is an amount of climate change we are going to have to adapt to.” 

Saving Sap, the award winning film by director Ian MacLellen and written by Elodie Reed, was shown at the start of the breakfast. Locally sourced maple syrup was served with pancakes. Maple Syrup Weekend sponsored by the NH Maple Producers Association is scheduled for March 25-26 this year. 

Attendees were asked to take action to reduce the source of the climate changing pollution by taking several types of actions. The actions included writing letters in support of the national health-based protections called Clean Power Plan and a petition asking Governor Sununu to maintain the power plant pollution reducing regional program, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The Climate Impacts Maple Breakfast is sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force, Environment New Hampshire, Union of Concerned Scientists, League of Conservation Voters, and New Hampshire Sierra Club, in partnership with the UNH Sustainability Institute. 

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