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Congressional Candidate Wants More “Evidence-Based” Policy Making

Almost every day we can read about another unqualified crony being appointed to run any number of federal agencies. The Trump administration has made a joke out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by appointing Scott Pruitt to lead the organization. As the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought the EPA’s regulations and continually denied the science on climate change.

Another example is the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration despite the fact he is not a scientist. Clovis, a former radio talk show host, economics professor, and Trump campaign aide, openly admitted to having no degrees in agricultural or natural sciences and called climate change “junk science”.

Clovis has since withdrawn his consideration for the under-secretary position but clearly shows the Trump administration’s pattern of nominating anti-climate change, anti-science, political cronies to lead federal agencies.

With the heads of major natural science agencies being run by anti-science ideologues, it would then fall on Congress to address some of the environmental issues facing the country.

That is just one of the reasons Rye State Rep, Mindi Messmer, has decided to run for Congress. As an environmental scientist, she brings nearly 30 years of experience working to clean up the environment and protecting communities from the harmful toxins that lay dormant underground.

“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Messmer. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”

“It​ ​is​ ​encouraging​ ​to​ ​see​ ​candidates​ ​like​ ​Mindi,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​proven​ ​track​ ​record​ ​of standing​ ​up​ ​for​ ​science​ ​science,​ ​stepping​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​plate​ ​to​ ​run​ ​for​ ​office,” said Joshua​ ​Morrow,​​Executive​ ​Director​ ​of​ ​314​ ​Action after hearing of Messmer’s decision to run.​ ​”In​ ​an era​ ​where​ ​alternative​ ​facts​ ​and​ ​attacks​ ​on​ ​science​ ​are​ ​the​ ​norm​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hands​ ​of the​ ​Trump​ ​Administration,​ ​Congress​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​perspective​ ​of​ ​scientists​ ​who​ ​will base​ ​policy​ ​on​ ​evidence​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​intuition.”

For 28 years, Messmer has run Terra Nova Environmental, a consulting firm that focuses on the “evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites.”

Most notably she was the first to identify and report a “pediatric cancer cluster” in five Seacoast NH towns. Her work prompted then Governor, Maggie Hassan to create a task force to investigate the “rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma double pediatric cancer cluster.”

As head of the task force subcommittee, Messmer coordinated with the EPA and the NH Department of Environmental Services to investigate the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, as the possible cause of the cancer cluster.

Messmer has also been leading the charge on the contaminated ground water in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield linked to the Saint Gobain factory as well as groundwater contaminations linked to the Pease Air Force Base.

As a consultant, Messmer could only do so much. But as a state legislator she could write her own legislation to get the state to address these water issues. And that is exactly what she did.

Messmer was elected to the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has already submitted a number of bills, three of which have already become law. Messmer’s bills created commissions to further study the cancer cluster and water contamination on the Seacoast as well as a commission to study “environmentally triggered illnesses” in New Hampshire.

In a brief conversation with Messmer after her announcement to run for Congress she talked about how there are more than 150 “superfund sites” similar to those at Pease AFB all across the country that need to be investigated.

Messmer is a longtime resident of Rye, NH where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.

You can read her full campaign announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to the NH Labor News to get more news on the Congressional races in NH.

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.

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.”  

Senators Shaheen And Hassan Take To The Senate Floor To Oppose EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Shaheen voiced her concerns about Pruitt’s record as Attorney General of Oklahoma, including his many lawsuits in favor of the oil and gas companies, and his outspoken position denying climate change, which puts him at odds with the mission of the EPA. “Mr. Pruitt has been nominated not to lead the EPA forward, but to prevent it from carrying out its mission,” said Shaheen. “Make no mistake, Mr. Pruitt and his extreme agenda are a threat to the environment, to the planet, and to public health.”

Shaheen spoke of climate change impacts in New Hampshire, where warmer temperatures are affecting tourism and outdoor recreation as well as maple syrup production and the moose population. “People in my State of New Hampshire have no doubt about the reality of climate change… we see it and experience it every day.” Shaheen also cited the significant progress New Hampshire has made reducing its power-sector carbon pollution through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, putting the state on track to meet the Clean Power Plan’s carbon-reduction goals 10 years early. “Across New England, we are demonstrating that smart energy choices can benefit the environment and strengthen job-creation and the economy overall,” Shaheen said. 

Shaheen went on to read letters that her office received from Granite Staters, both Democrats and Republicans, who “not only oppose Mr. Pruitt’s nomination, they genuinely fear the consequences of putting him in charge of the EPA.” Christopher Morgan of Amherst, NH wrote: “This is my first message I have ever sent to my senator in my 32 years as a voting American. . . . As a registered Republican . . . I am vehemently opposed to Mr. Pruitt leading the EPA. He has consistently shown he does not believe in the threat posed by climate change. Climate change affects every citizen in this country and has had a detrimental effect on the NH climate specifically.”

“Mr. Pruitt’s nomination is not about ‘shaking things up in Washington,’” said Shaheen. “It is about turning over control of the EPA to the fossil fuel industry – and turning back the clock on a half century of bipartisan efforts – in Democratic and Republican administrations alike – to protect clean air and clean water, and to pass on to our children a livable environment and habitable Earth.”

Shaheen urged her Senate colleagues to oppose Pruitt’s confirmation and “reject this effort to un-do nearly five decades of bipartisan efforts to protect our environment and planet.”

Watch Shaheen’s Video

Senator Maggie Hassan also delivered remarks on the Senate floor, opposing the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protecting Agency.

“It is clear from Mr. Pruitt’s history of opposition to the agency he will be tasked to lead, his record of working to weaken critical environmental protections that our citizens need to thrive, and his unwillingness to fight climate change that he is unfit to serve in this position,” Senator Hassan said on the Senate floor today. 

In her remarks, Senator Hassan highlighted the work done in New Hampshire to protect the state’s beautiful natural resources, environment, and citizens. The Senator also noted how Mr. Pruitt has been a consistent opponent of the EPA, taking legal action against the agency over 20 times and fighting against the EPA’s efforts to combat climate change and protect our land, air, and water. 

“The foundation of a future where all Americans have an opportunity to thrive starts with a healthy environment and healthy families. And the EPA serves an important role in protecting the health of our people. We must do better than having an administrator who has fought so tirelessly to undermine the work this agency does,” said Senator Hassan. 

Additionally, Senator Hassan explained that it is unacceptable that Mr. Pruitt is a climate change skeptic, putting him at odds with the world’s leading climate scientists.

“Mr. Pruitt, however, has been a consistent skeptic on the role of climate change has on our environment. Mr. Pruitt has stated that we do not know the extent of human impact on climate change, and has called it a natural occurrence… The EPA is a science-based organization, and it is unacceptable for the EPA Administrator to be at odds with the well-established views of leading scientists,” the Senator said.

Senator Hassan concluded her remarks by noting the critical role a cleaner environment plays in New Hampshire’s economy and that we should be building on the EPA’s efforts on climate change and protecting public health, not rolling them back. 

“We know that a cleaner environment plays a key role in the economy of New Hampshire and our entire nation. And we should be building on the critical efforts the EPA has taken to combat change and protect public health – not rolling them back.  Mr. Pruitt’s hostility to the basic functions of the Environmental Protection Agency, and his work to undermine protections for our air, land, and water make clear that he should not serve in this role,” added Senator Hassan.

Watch Senator Hassan’s Video 

New Hampshire Environmental Groups Oppose Scott Pruitt for EPA

Concord, New Hampshire – As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on whether to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Moms Clean Air Force, The New Hampshire Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Environment New Hampshire released the following statement:

“The nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency is an unprecedented threat to New Hampshire’s public health, economy, and wildlife. It is difficult to imagine a nominee more hostile to the central mission of the EPA or cozier with polluter interests than Scott Pruitt.

In his role as Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt has repeatedly championed polluter interests over the well being of his constituents and other Americans. He’s denied climate science, fought the EPA, opposed policies like the Clean Power Plan, and disputed the Clean Air Act’s authority. Sadly, it’s no surprise: Pruitt has received hundreds of thousands of dollars of dirty donations from fossil fuel companies.

We need a leader at the EPA who recognizes, not ignores the impact climate change has on the health of New Hampshire families. Asthma is a troubling example of how climate change is already harming – and will continue to harm – New Hampshire children. Despite our largely rural character, New Hampshire has high asthma rates. Nationally, 8.6% of children suffer from asthma, but in New Hampshire, 10.6% of our children have asthma. Climate change stands to worsen this epidemic-scale health problem, because it will make smog, pollen season, and heat waves worse. All of those things trigger asthma attacks.

While New Hampshire has relatively low levels of power sector emissions, our state is greatly affected by pollution from out-of-state sources. This is an important reminder that a weaker standard in an adjacent state can compromise New Hampshire’s efforts to mitigate harmful emissions. In 2011, the EPA finalized a rule under the Clean Air Act that requires states to reduce upwind emissions. This rule could be rolled back should Scott Pruitt become the next EPA administrator. This could have a troubling impact on New Hampshire’s air quality.

Loosening clean air regulations not only endangers public health but favors dirty fossil fuels over clean energy innovations right here at home. New Hampshire spends nearly $6 billion annually on energy, and most of the money goes out of state and over our borders to foreign suppliers. If we could supply 1/3 to half of our energy from clean, renewable local sources, that money would stimulate 3 to 6 times more economic activity, right here in New Hampshire.   

Wildlife protections are a major concern in New Hampshire and our tourism based economy. The iconic moose is under threat of climate impacts. The winter tick is thriving in the warming winter temperatures and are attributed to the death of over 70% of the moose calves in 2016. Other species are not excluded. The closed northern shrimp season due to warming waters in the Gulf of Maine means an economic opportunity for the struggling N.H. fishermen is eliminated.  New Hampshire needs a strong reduction in climate change causing pollution to protect our wildlife. Without it the iconic moose will be nothing but a campfire ghost story.

New Hampshire and all Americans need an EPA Administrator who protects environmental laws.  Much as he did in Oklahoma, we fear that Scott Pruitt will use his position at EPA to undo the progress made and do irreparable damage to our health and environment for generations to come.

Prior To Pruitt’s Confirmation Hearing Iowa Farmers Speak Out Against Extremist Nominee

Iowa Renewable Energy Farmers & Community Leaders Urge Their Grassley, Ernst to Oppose Trump’s Radical EPA Pick

Corn & Soybean Farmers: “I hope that our senators will uphold what they told us they would do.”

Less than 24 hours before Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Iowa renewable energy producers, including local farmers and community leaders, joined the Progressive Change Campaign Committee to call on Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to oppose Pruitt’s nomination for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“[Pruitt] could be disastrous for the working people of rural America. … The thing that really gives me heartburn is it seems like all of [Trump’s] appointees to the different positions have at points in their past basically cursed the cabinet appointees of the past and the organization they’re representing. You really wonder whose side they’re on and what they’re going to do,” said Chris Petersen, board member and former president, Iowa Farmers Union.

“Scott Pruitt, Trump’s radical nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, shouldn’t make it past tomorrow’s Senate committee hearing. This is clear: Scott Pruitt is another example of Donald Trump betraying Iowans and many Americans, including his own voters, by siding with giant corporations at the expense of Iowa farmers in the wind and renewable fuels industries,” said Marissa Barrow, spokesperson, Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement state policy organizing director Adam Mason, Iowa Farmers Union board member and former IFU president Chris Petersen, and corn and soybean farmers Alice and Lyle Hodde highlighted Pruitt’s long track record of supporting big oil corporations over renewable energy.

“Farmers are very concerned about clean energy. I’m not just talking about the money we make when I say I’m concerned about Scott Pruitt’s nomination for EPA. I’m concerned about the clean energy we have in our country and what we’re going to be leaving our grandchildren. (7:45) Our small towns in rural Iowa rely on the ag industry. The equipment dealers, fertilizer dealers, seed corn dealers all depend on farmers. I hope that our senators will uphold what they told us they would do,” said Alice Hodde, corn and soybean farmer from Sidney, IA.

“The administration is trying to appoint these oil people and they’re going to pick our pockets on renewable fuels which is really the key to the agriculture industry. This is the most important issue to farmers in rural areas. [Ethanol] is 40% of our corn market nationwide and in Iowa. (12:10) The center of the country is really hurting, especially the Midwest. Our towns are getting smaller, we lost our high school and our grocery stores — it’s not easy to keep these towns operating…The RFS is the only way that we can complete with the oil corporations,” said Lyle Hodde.

Pruitt has consistently advocated for the repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard and Clean Power Plan — moves that would benefit big oil corporations, but put over 40,000 jobs at risk and devastate Iowa’s rural communities.

“More than ever, we need uncompromising leadership to protect our food, water and environment, and to safeguard our democracy from regressive policies that benefit only billionaires and multinational corporations. We need elected leaders and administrators who will put people and planet first, and we’re calling on the Senate — especially Senators Grassley and Ernst — to deny [Pruitt’s] appointment after a full and thorough vetting,” said Adam Mason, state policy organizing director, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

Sen. Ernst — a member of the Senate committee that oversees the EPA — said recently: “Understand that I will be going through a rigorous line of questioning with Mr. Pruitt. What I will be asking is where does he stand on renewable fuels, where does he stand on renewable energy? This is very important to Iowa with our wind energy ever expanding and creating lots of opportunity in our state.”

Trump Nominates Climate Denier And Anti-EPA Advocate To Lead The EPA

Image by Gromit702 CC

Image by Gromit702 CC

Last week, President Elect Trump continued his Cabinet appointments with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the hen house,” League of Conservation Voters’ president Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “Time and again, he has fought to pad the profits of Big Polluters at the expense of public health. He’s sued the EPA over commonsense safeguards like the Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan and sent letters to federal officials that were written almost entirely by the oil and gas industry. And like fellow Oklahoman senator Inhofe, Pruitt is an outright climate denier who has ignored settled science for political points.”

During his time as Attorney General, Pruitt has attacked the EPA and challenged them directly in court on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

“During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly threatened to dismantle the EPA and roll back many of the gains made to reduce Americans’ exposures to industrial pollution, and with Pruitt, the president-elect would make good on those threats,” said Ken Cook, the head of the Environmental Working Group, in a statement.

“We need an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator who protects our environmental laws, is guided by science when crafting and implementing policy, puts public health ahead of dirty energy special interests, and has the qualifications necessary to safeguard the American public from climate change,” said Environment America’s Executive Director, Margie Alt. “President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt meets none of those criteria.” 

“Scott Pruitt is a main party to several lawsuits against the very agency he would be in charge of.  He denies the science of climate change and he has numerous close ties to polluters.  Americans need an EPA administrator who will fight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the planet we love. Scott Pruitt fails on all these accounts,” Alt added. 

“The EPA has the enormous responsibility of protecting our environment and keeping Americans safe and healthy,” said Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz in a statement. “Its administrator should share those goals, but Scott Pruitt’s record has shown us that he does not. While the EPA is tasked with protecting our people and our environment from the impacts of climate change, he denies the science behind it. And while the agency has worked to keep our air and water clean and safe, Scott Pruitt has worked to undermine the very rules that protect those resources.”

“Climate change is a direct threat to New Hampshire’s environment, economy and way of life,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “As New Hampshire continues to combat carbon emissions and provide clean, safe drinking water, we need a reliable partner in the EPA to achieve these goals. Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s environmental record is extremely concerning and his appointment would signal a capitulation to polluters. 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 and I will not support any nominee that is intent on rolling back this progress.”

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.

The threat of global warming is real.  A recently released report by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, estimates that the New Hampshire 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.

We need a EPA Administrator who will directly address the growing problem of Climate Change before it is too late.  Unfortunately Trump has nominated a climate-denier who rejects the 97% of climate scientist who agree that Climate Change is real and that we have sped up the process.

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